Sprinkled in salads or piled like pilaf, queen grain of the Inca is a delight. Here, quinoa, apricot and nut clusters are featured. - MCT

Quinoa, Apricot and Nut Clusters

3/4 cup white quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw, shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 cup unsulfured, dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white, lightly beaten
Vegetable-oil cooking spray, as needed

Preheat oven to 350. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, stir once, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is slightly underdone and has absorbed most liquid, 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer quinoa to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven, fluffing with a fork occasionally, until pale golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Spread the oats evenly on baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 15 minutes. Add oats to quinoa. Spread the sunflower seeds on baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 7 minutes. Add to quinoa and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F.

Toss the pistachios, apricots, sugar and salt with quinoa mixture. Mix the honey, oil and vanilla into the eggs and stir into quinoa mixture.

Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray. For each cluster, place 1/4 cup mixture onto sheet, spacing 3 inches apart. Flatten to 1/4 inch thick. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store loosely covered with aluminum foil up to 2 days. Makes 20 clusters.

— Recipe from "Power Foods" by the editors of Whole Living Magazine (Clarkson Potter, 384 pp., $24.99)

Per 2-cluster serving: 329 calories, 10.6 g fat (3.4 g saturated), 42 mg cholesterol, 49 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 5 g fiber, 139 mg sodium.

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