Quinoa Salad with Apples and Cranberries

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Quinoa Salad

When I first saw the ARF/5-A-Day event hosted by Cate at Sweetnicks, I knew that I wanted to participate. Everywhere I look on the internet, in magazines, or on TV, there is something about Antioxidant Rich Foods. In simplest terms (and I’m all about simple), antioxidants help our bodies fight disease and aging. Hey, we have to eat, might as well keep healthy in the process, right?? I’ve been trying to find a definitive list of the top antioxidant foods, but it seems to vary from doctor to doctor, article to article, story to story. What they all agree on is that they should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Duh! So, I have been trying to replace my processed grains and flours with whole grains (though I can’t give up my white sourdough bread, I just can’t, don’t ask me to). One of the grains I wanted to try was quinoa. While quinoa is considered a grain, it is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. I cooked the quinoa in the rice cooker, because I pretty much cook all my grains in my rice cooker. I love my rice cooker!

I found this recipe from Eating Well for a Wheat Berry Salad with Red Fruits, it sounded good. The wheat berries required soaking overnight, and the quinoa didn’t so I decided to try substituting the quinoa instead. This has become my families favorite side dish. I’m going to try making it with some other grains, like spelt, or even brown rice. It’s really wonderful. It’s great for leftovers. And with apples and dried cranberries, it can be eaten year round. I plan on making it during the school year and taking it in for lunch. I served this with some grilled quail, which aren’t nearly as pretty as Peter’s.

Quinoa Salad with Apples and Cranberries
Serves 6

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 cups quinoa (or other grain)
1 large Fuji apple, unpeeled, diced
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted, and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine orange juice and cranberries in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Combine quinoa (or whatever grain you are using), apple and pecans in a large bowl; stir gently. Drain the cranberries, reserving the juice. Stir the cranberries into the wheat berry mixture.

Whisk the reserved orange juice, vinegar and oil in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and stir gently to coat.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.


Since this is loaded with antioxidants: apples, pecans, dried cranberries, orange juice and quinoa, this will be my entry this week for ARF/5-A-Day hosted by Cate at Sweetnicks.

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  1. says

    Oooh, I was just looking up quinoa recipes earlier today! I’m so glad you posted this. Apples and cranberries are such a great combo, and I bet this tastes great.

  2. says

    yep, quinoa is all the rage, and i love it! i also love apples and cranberries and pecans and being healthy, so this is a winner in my book! hurrah! :)

  3. says

    I have a package of quinoa that I’ve been trying to figure out how to use… I think this recipe is going on my list for next week! Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Ruth in VT says

    I just tried quinoa for the first time last week. Yummy! This recipe looks great. May I assume that it requires 3 cups “prepared” quinoa?

  5. Dhanggit says

    what a gorgeous combo you did for a quinoa salad!! i guess i really need to buy quinoa now :-) i’ve been seeing too many good recipes of quinoa to taste !!

  6. says

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