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Mandarin Quinoa and Kale Salad

For the Salad
1 cup quinoa (cooked)
5 cups kale
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mandarin orange segments from a 15 ounce can
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing
zest of one orange
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons orange juice (from the zested orange)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil

Cook the quinoa as instructed on the package, I like to boil it in chicken broth for extra flavor. When quinoa has absorbed the broth, stir in the dried cranberries and remove from heat. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cool to room temperature, or you can keep it in the fridge until you're ready to put together the salad.

Drain the can of mandarin oranges and pat dry. Set aside. For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl combine the orange zest, garlic, pepper, salt, dijon, orange juice, vinegar and olive oil. Whisk until emulsified.

Assemble the salad by combining the cooled quinoa and cranberries, kale and oranges in a bowl. Toss with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette, until well coated, but not soupy (you may not use all the vinaigrette in this salad, but keep it to serve with other vegetables or over chicken or fish.)
Lightly toss the salad with the feta cheese and almonds. Serve.

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