1 cup quinoa
¼ cup whole-grain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped chives
4 ounces goat cheese
3 tablespoons sliced/slivered almonds, divided
6 cups arugula
1 cup sliced apricots (about 3 medium)
¼ cup sliced red onion
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 1½-quart pot, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook 15 minutes. Drain off any unabsorbed water.
While the quinoa cooks, heat oven to 400 degrees and cover two baking sheets with foil and spray with vegetable nonstick cooking spray.
On a plate or in a shallow dish combine the bread crumbs, lemon zest, chopped chives, 2 tablespoons cooked quinoa and 1 tablespoon slivered almonds.
Slice goat cheese into eight even discs; press each piece into the crumb mixture to throughly coat.
Place cheese on half of a foil-lined baking sheet and the remaining sliced almonds on the other half. On second baking sheet, spread rest of the quinoa. Bake both sheets 5 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
For the vinaigrette: Whisk balsamic vinegar, honey, and lemon juice in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble: In a large bowl toss arugula, apricots, red onion and toasted quinoa with the vinaigrette. Divide salad into four plates and place two slices of goat cheese on each. Garnish with toasted almonds.
Nutrition values per serving: 292 calories, 11 g fat, 38 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 13 g protein, 18 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium.