Monday, March 22, 2010

Springtime Quinoa Salad

Saturday was the first official day of Spring!  Here in New York we've already had a healthy dose of sunshine and blue skies over the past week, but it is nice to make it official.  Alas, my daffodils have died, but I did notice some beautiful purple and yellow crocus popping up in the neighborhood.

Since I starting writing in the Fall, I've mostly been writing about cold weather recipes--hot foods that fill you up and stick to your bones.  Today I am pleased to present my first Springtime recipe (although it was technically winter when I made it).  The other day, I was doing a quick shopping at Whole Foods and I was trying to think up something delicious and fast.  As I thought over our pantry at home I came up with a few things I knew I had--quinoa, sliced almonds, dried cranberries.  Then, I remembered a quinoa salad that my roommate had made a while back.  To my cart I added red onion, scallions, and apples and I made my way home.

This salad is so refreshing!!  I just know you will love it.  Make it on a warm spring day as a main dish or even a side dish.  If you haven't cooked with quinoa yet, what are you waiting for?!  It's very versatile--you can use it as a substitute for rice or any other grain.  I even have a recipe for quinoa muffins that are very very good.  Quinoa is actually easier and faster to make than rice and many other grains and it is so good for you.

I didn't use measurements, so you're going to have to get creative and do some taste-testing along the way.

-chopped red onion (about 1/4 c.)
-3 scallions/green onions chopped
-dried cranberries
-quinoa (I used 1/2 c. dried which equals 1 c. cooked)
-olive oil
-lemon juice
-dijon mustard

1. Prepare the quinoa according to package directions (make sure to rinse it first!)
2. Mix quinoa with the first four ingredients.
3. Add in the other ingredients for the dressing--adjust to taste.  I probably did 2 parts olive oil, 1/2 part lemon juice, and 1 part dijon mustard.  Don't forget lots of salt and pepper.
4. Refridgerate for about a half hour.  Taste it again and adjust the seasonings.


  1. I will be making this tomorrow for our first day on the Daniel Fast!!! It's perfect and I have almost all of those ingredients. Sounds delicious...oooh, now I'm daydreaming about quinoa muffins!!! Thanks for the idea and thanks for the phone call :)

  2. Made it...put WAY too many nuts in it and forgot the parents still scarfed it down, though. My head wasn't on straight so I didn't give it a fair shot. Thus, I would definitely make it again but make sure I had someone to supervise.

  3. Sounds like it was still a success! I'm so glad you all enjoyed it. I think it's one of those experimental type recipes that are really fun to play around with!!