Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots, Cranberries and Orange Vinaigrette

This is a repost due to many requests for this recipe on Facebook and my personal emails. I modified this recipe so many times and this is the most favorite so far. I originally posted this on March 6, 2010 so it is really nice to get requests for this recipe often.  I am fascinated with grain and seed salads. It is hard to believe that these little tiny kernels of seeds pack such a powerful healthy punch. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein. I made a salad as part of a birthday lunch for a friend and it was a huge hit. The original salad recipe came from a friend of mine’s mothers recipes. Where she got it I am not sure. Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots, Cranberries and Orange Vinaigrette
Created recipe on 03/06/2010, revamped often, most favorite 04/25/14

Quinoa Salad Picture

To cook the quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (this is important because of the coating on the seeds. It tastes bitter when not rinsed well.
2 cups water
Salt lightly (optional)

Bring the water to a boil in a 3 quart pan. Add the salt and quinoa. Return to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes until the whole seed then cracks open and pops. This will make about 2 cups of cooked Quinoa. Transfer the cooked quinoa in a large bowl.

1/3 cup of slivered almonds
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup dried apricots diced into small pieces
1/3 cup cran-raisins
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
1 green onion thinly chopped
1/2 English cucumber, minced
2 tablespoons fresh minced Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh minced chives
2 tablespoons fresh minced mint
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, organic canola oil, or grape seed oil

Toast the slivered almonds on a stone or cookie tray in 350 degree oven for approximately 3 to 5 minutes until the almonds are golden brown. It may take more time depending on your stove.

Dice the dried apricots into small mini size pieces and toss with the cran-raisins in the large bowl with the cooked quinoa. Add the minced parsley, chives, green onion, English cucumber and fresh mint to the mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, orange juice. Whisk in the oil until well blended. Before serving, pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss well with fork. Sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds and almonds over the grain salad and serve.



Edamame Cranberry Feta Salad

Summertime means fresh berries, fresh produce, hot sunny weather, beaches, and salads. This particular recipe I found in a Vegetarian Times magazine and fell in love with the flavors and the simplicity of how fast and easy the salad was to make. I did not have to tweak anything, the salad is perfect the way it is. Edamame (pronounced Ed A Ma Me) is a soy bean. Absolutely delicious steamed and sprinkled with a little salt, or boiled for 5 minutes in boiling water and then put in a salad or soup. The cranberries in this recipe give the salad a sweet flavor and the pairing with Feta cheese is excellent. The best part it is that the recipe takes about 15 minutes to make and then you can go play.

Edamame Cranberry Feta Salad, created 06/19/2010

(2) 12 or 16 ounce bags frozen shelled Edamame
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup fresh basil, cut into very thin strips and then halved
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 cup crumbled Feta Cheese

Cook the Edamame in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and pat dry with paper towels. You want to make sure the Edamame is dry so the salad is not soggy.

Toss Edamame with cranberries, basil, olive oil and pepper in a pretty bowl. Gently stir in the crumbled feta cheese. Serve the salad chilled or at room temperature.

Serves 8 people – Enjoy!


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