Showing posts with label quinoa salad with dried cranberries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quinoa salad with dried cranberries. Show all posts

Saturday, July 27, 2013

All aboard the quinoa train: it's worth the trip

Submitted by Mary Jane Maffini, who also blogs here as one half of Victoria Abbott.

Lately my friends have been whipping up these amazing quinoa salads – no two alike – claiming that quinoa is a super food. Well, the only super food I recognize is chocolate, but there is not much of that on my diet (eleven pounds, thanks for asking). Still I am looking for filling but healthy additions to change the menus and there are a gazillion variations on this. What can I say? Everyone seems to be trying it. They even do a decent takeout version at our local super market.

 It doesn't look like much before, but it pairs up with sweet and savory ingredients to make for happy eating.

We really liked our adaptation . It may not be chocolate, but it’s easy, healthy and a bit different. Not so sure about the calorie count, but I stopped caring when I tasted it. 
  • 1 ¼ cup quinoa, well rinsed (do not omit this step - see below). I used white, but will try red the next time.
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup raw unsalted chopped cashews
  • ¼ cup salted sunflower seeds (oops - ours were the honey variety)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt 

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. If you buy your quinoa in bulk, make sure you rinse it really well.  Cover the quinoa with plenty of water and let it stir it a bit. Drain after three minutes and repeat twice . Cover with 2 ½ cups water, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to lowest setting. Takes about 17 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and let it cool completely.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, lemon, Dijon and maple syrup. Add about ¾ of the dressing to cooled quinoa. Stir in cranberries, cashews, green onions, sunflower seeds and salt. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature; just before serving, stir in remaining dressing and check for salt and pepper.
  3. Go ahead, have a little square of chocolate later on, but you may not even need it.

Mary Jane Maffini is one-half of Victoria Abbott and the author of three other mystery series: the Camilla MacPhee books are set in Canada’s capital (as it is spelled north of the 49th parallel) and feature a lawyer and victims' right activist, the Charlotte Adams series features a slightly bossy professional organizer from upstate New York, and the Fiona Silk comic capers unfold in West Quebec. There is no quinoa in any of them, but you may find chocolate.  Also spoiled little dogs, like these two who hang out in the Charlotte Adams books. 

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