Life is stressful lately. But you know what’s not stressful? This apple cranberry quinoa salad. Seriously. It’s so easy to mix up to serve with dinner or to bring to a potluck with you. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, crunchy, and savory, thanks to fall fruits, toasted almonds, and a delicious honey-mustard dressing that lightly coats the salad and amps up the flavor. If you’ve been feeling how I have lately, you’ll take comfort in this: take a few deep breaths, and proceed to stuff your face with this quinoa salad.
Kidding. Sort of.
On another, more positive note, I am absolutely loving our seasonal produce, which was part of the inspiration for this apple cranberry quinoa salad. I’ve also been inspired by the beautiful shades of leaves that have been falling this past month; I incorporated these Autumn colors with bold reds in the form of pomegranate aerils and cranberries, plus shredded rainbow carrots to add in some warmer yellows and golds. Between the flavor profile and the colors, this salad just screams ‘fall’ to me. Although, not literally, because I don’t think I would have eaten a screaming salad. Hard to say. I am a sucker for a good quinoa salad.
- 1½ cups dry quinoa
- 3 cups water or broth
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pomegranate aerils
- 1 honeycrisp apple, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- ½ cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa well in fine mesh strainer. Allow to drain.
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Add quinoa to skillet and toast until all moisture is removed and quinoa smells nutty and fragrant.
- Bring 3 cups water or broth to boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Set quinoa aside for at least 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Mix all dressing ingredients well with food processor or immersion blender to emulsify.
- Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa salad and mix well. Serve immediately or keep for up to three days in the fridge.