Apple-Spinach Quinoa Salad

by Chelsey Lindahl on January 21, 2012

Quinoa is a fantastic whole grain that a growing number of people are learning of and loving! It is highly versatile and provides fantastic nutrients such as  phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and fiber.   As a vegetarian, I turn towards Quinoa quite often for its protein rich quality. It contains a full range of amino acids, meaning that it is a complete source of protein. One cup of Quinoa provides about 8 grams of protein.  As an added bonus, it’s also gluten-free.

I am always looking for new ways to prepare Quinoa because I love it so much.  Last fall I threw together this salad, and I loved it’s flavor and ease to make so much that I brought it to two Thanksgiving’s and one Christmas.  It received rave reviews, from both foodies and skeptics!

Apple-Spinach Quinoa Salad

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

(Makes 10-12 Servings)

Salad:

  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • ½ cup Dried Cranberries, chopped
  • 2 Apples, chopped
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach, fresh
  • ¼ cup Walnuts, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette to taste

Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)

Preparation:

Combine two cups dry quinoa with 4 cups water, bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes.  Once cooked, fluff with fork and cool in fridge while you prepare other ingredients.

Chop dried cranberries, apples and walnuts.

Toss chopped apples in juice from 1 lemon.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, toss lightly in dressing to taste.

Serve chilled.