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Cranberry, Apple and Spinach Quinoa Salad

Posted Dec 09 2011 12:00am

I don’t know about you but I love any recipe with directions that read, “combine all ingredients, and serve!” Which is why I love quinoa salads so much. Other than the actually cooking of the quinoa, every set of directions is the same. And the options are endless for what you can combine it with. Whether it is sweet, savory or a mixture of the two, it is one of the easiest, healthiest, go-to meals I use. This one is particularly great for winter since cranberry and apple elicit images of snuggling up by the fire (for some odd reason…).

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa (use part broth, part water for added flavor)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • A handful or two of spinach or arugula, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped.
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Optional: 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled and added on separately

Directions:

Cook quinoa: In a medium saucepan combine quinoa, broth, water and ½ tsp sea salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer. Cook for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 T olive oil in skillet. Add chopped onion and celery; cook and stir until  tender (about eight minutes). Add balsamic vinegar and stir until the vinegar cooks off, about another 60 seconds. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Mix quinoa, arugula or spinach,  onion and celery mixture, apple, walnuts and cranberries in a large bowl.

Make dressing: combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Toss with quinoa mixture or leave on the side.

This is great warm, at room temperature or chilled.

In other news…

My mom got chosen from a raffle to go on the field during last weekend’s Vikings game! I was so upset I couldn’t join but she took some great pics of being in the tunnel with the players running by and of her on the field! …..And then they lost – buzz kill. She had a blast though…

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