Now that our long, harsh winter is finally coming to an end and spring is here (it really really is, I can see green grass in places!) I find myself craving salads more than ever. I’ve had enough of rich, heavy foods! Give me foods that are light and fresh!
I love cooking with different grains, and quinoa is one of my favorites. I had some red quinoa in my pantry, and I wanted to make a salad with it but couldn’t really find any recipes that were quite what I had in mind. So I took some ideas from here and there and came up with my own salad.
And if I may toot my own horn a little bit, I must say this quinoa salad creation of mine turned out delicious! It’s also super healthy, quinoa being one of the most nutrient-packed grains out there.
If you’ve never had quinoa before, now’s the time to break away from that boring old rice and pasta and try something different! It may look like there’s a lot of ingredients, but other than the quinoa, you probably already have most of them on hand.
Until next time, Happy Cooking :)
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa (red or regular)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup finely diced celery
- 1/2 cup finely diced English cucumber
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 2 Tb balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp grated orange zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Cover, and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Set the quinoa aside to cool.
Add the remaining salad ingredients to a large bowl. Add the cooled quinoa.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad, and stir to make sure everything is coated.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.