Sprouted Buckwheat Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

Sprouted buckwheat is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids.  When sprouted, the grain softens but retains a nutty flavour.

1/2 cup (125 mL) walnut pieces
2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup or agave nectar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) sprouted buckwheat
1 cup (250 mL) diced bell pepper (red, orange, green, or a combination)
2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach
1/2 cup (125 mL) apple juice
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 tsp (25 mL) apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive or walnut oil

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Combine walnut pieces with maple syrup and salt and place in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Remove parchment paper from baking sheet and let cool about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In large bowl combine sprouted buckwheat with bell pepper and baby spinach.

In small saucepan combine apple juice, shallot, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive or walnut oil, whisking constantly. Pour over sprouted buckwheat. Top with candied walnuts and toss to combine.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 254 calories; 6 g protein; 13 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 32 g total carbohydrates (11 g sugar, 4 g fibre); 308 mg sodium