Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Inspired: Cranberry-Walnut Quinoa Salad

Happy Friday!  I hope you had a wonderful week.  Can you believe is Christmas next week?  Time truly flies when you are having fun, doesn't it... 

Anywhoooosers... I wanted to share a salad I prepared for my hubby's holiday work Potluck yesterday.  Now, I love to bake and that's usually the route I take for Potlucks however, due to the short notice, since he told me the night before, I had to improvise with what I had at hand.  I always have quinoa, nuts and dry fruit in my pantry so I decided to make a Walnut Cranberry Quinoa Salad.

Now, I know that it is Winter and salads tend to be more of a Summer food, but, I am a fan of salads all year round.  Quinoa and Couscous salads are always crowd pleasers in my opinion.  They are super duper easy to prepare and if you pair it up with the right ingredients it could be that one dish that everyone remembers, no matter the occasion. 

Also these days so many people are gluten intolerant, so why not make something that more people can enjoy, right?

Cranberry- Walnut Quinoa Salad
Ingredients:
To prep Quinoa:
2 cups of quinoa
1 3/4 cups of water
1 tsp. of salt

Ingredients for the salad:
4 cups of cooked quinoa
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
3/4 cup of diced red onion
Dressing:
1/2 cup of red-wine vinegar
2 tbsp. of maple syrup
1 tbsp. of liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
2 of sesame oil
1 tsp. of minced garlic
1 tsp of freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp. of fresh chopped parsley

Directions:
Quinoa:
Rinse your quinoa in several changes of water.  In a saucepan combine 1 3/4 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt and bring to a boil over high heat.  Turn down you burner to simmer (low/medium) and cover your saucepan.  Continue cooking until all the water is absorbed, takes about 15-20 minutes.  After quinoa is fully cooked turn your burner off and let the quinoa rest for another 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, fluff your quinoa with a fork and let it cool completely.

Dressing:
In a small bowl add in all of your ingredients and whisk with a fork until well combined.  Taste your dressing, and adjust salt and pepper if you please.  I suggest making this dressing the night before, cause' it just tastes better after sitting for 24 hrs ;o)).

Time to put together your salad!
After your quinoa has cooled and your dressing is made...  In a large bowl combine your cranberries, walnuts, red onion, parsley and quinoa.  Mix well until well combined.  Pour in your dressing and toss your salad.  You can serve it as is, I prefer to refrigerate it for at least an hour prior to serving it.
Enjoy!

Yesterday's vlog!

Have a happy, healthy day!

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