Using a sieve, rinse the quinoa. The outer casing is bitter unless rinsed. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and spinach. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until all water have been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit.
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa/spinach with cheese, tomato halves, beans, cucumber, olives and the optional pepperoni slices that have been quartered.
Shake the dressing well and pour 1/2 cup of the dressing over the salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, drizzle remaining dressing over salad; toss to coat.
Recipe Credit: Taste of Home Healthy Cooking
Note: Look for quinoa in organic food or bulk grain aisle.
3/4 cup equals 184 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 472 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 7 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1 starch, 1 lean meat.
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