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Monday, November 4, 2013

Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Red Pepper

Here's another recipe from the fitness blog.

Quinoa is awesome. It's full of fibre and protein and it's absolutely delicious. Bonus: it's also easier to cook than brown rice. A friend of mine turned me back on to quinoa recently. I'd had it before as a kid, but I hadn't eaten it since I moved away from home, mostly because I hadn't realized how easy it was to make. So I've been making all kinds of quinoa salads lately.

I used this this recipe as a jumping off point, and it is by far my favourite quinoa dish so far. It's kind of like a pilaf, I guess. I changed the original recipe enough that I think it merits a retyping here (keep in mind a lot of it is copied and pasted from the original).

Ingredients (main salad):
  • 1 c. dry quinoa
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 c. baby spinach
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds, toasted

Ingredients (dressing):
(NOTE: This wasn't actually included in the original recipe, but some kind soul put it in the comments. It turned out that I didn't have any yogurt or any of the spices at the time, so I made do with what was in the pantry. Experimentation is fun!)
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp dried onion
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper


1. Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.
2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add cranberries and the quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet at medium heat, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Put them in a bowl to cool.
4. Also meanwhile, make dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with half the dressing. Add in the pepper and pumpkin seeds. Let cool for 10 minutes.
5. Just before serving, toss spinach with the remaining 1/3 cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and eat!

This makes 4 servings. Per serving, there are 383 calories, 47 g of carbs, 19 g of fat, 8 g of protein, and 5 g of fibre.

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