I’ll start by saying I’ve missed you all and I hope you had lovely holidays with your family and friends! It’s been a great year for Silk and Spice and I really look forward to creating and sharing more with you all in the new year. I can’t wait to see what you all have in store as well. Have you made any resolutions? I personally don’t really like resolutions, probably because the only one I’ve ever kept was to floss my teeth every day. Other than that, I like to focus on daily affirmations, like being positive and grateful, and ringing in the new year always inspires me to focus on those important things.
Of course, I also totally overindulged over Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I had a big Indian feast which was rich and delicious. The pounds packed on, and now I’m back on track. This is why I’d like to share with you my favourite quinoa salad which never disappoints, is super tasty, fresh, and packed with protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. I brought it along to what was our fourth Christmas dinner at our aunt’s house and it was a total hit. Like I said it’s my personal favourite, a cinch to prepare, and also kid-tested and approved. I think the key to a great quinoa salad is texture (I love the crunch of the raw veggies), nuts (to add texture and enhance nutty flavour), fresh herbs for a great pop of flavour (think basil, mint, oregano), and finished off with a bright vinaigrette.
My Favourite Quinoa Salad Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups red and white quinoa
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 small Lebanese cucumbers, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped mint, minced
- 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped and toasted
- 3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- a pinch of garlic powder
- kosher sea salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa under water for 5 minutes. (Or, follow instructions for the quinoa you are using.)
- Pour quinoa into a saucepan with 2 1/2 cups of water. Usually, the packaging will call for doubling the liquid to quinoa, but I like to use a little less liquid for perfectly cooked quinoa. I also like to add the quinoa with the water all at once (don’t wait for water to boil first). Sprinkle with garlic powder, kosher sea salt and pepper.
- Cover and bring all to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower heat to low, keep covered and simmer for 10 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed.
- Toss the red peppers, cucumber, cranberries, onion, and mint into a large bowl.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, lay it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to allow it to cool a little quicker.
- Prepare your vinaigrette: Pour olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrup into a bowl. Whisk together and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- After about 10 minutes, scoop the cooled quinoa into the bowl with vegetables.
- Top with vinaigrette and toasted almonds. Stir well to combine.
- Have a taste. If you agree this works for you, perfect, if not, add a little more apple cider vinegar.
- Serve at room temperature.