Fall is known for its warm spices and its cozy flavors, and this week’s recipe is the perfect side for crisp autumn nights. Not only is this recipe seasonally appropriate, it’s also healthful and packed with nutrition. This light and filling salad is also easy to make and only requires a few ingredients; with quick recipes like this one, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather while it lasts.
This week’s recipe: Fall Quinoa Salad with Apples, Pecans, and Cranberries
Why We Like It:
Quinoa is a grain, but unlike most grains, it is also a complete protein. Since most complete proteins are found in animal products, quinoa is a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans. Besides being a good source of plant-based protein, quinoa is also high in iron and fiber. The apples and the cranberries in this salad are also full of healthful nutrients and add a gorgeous pop of color to the entire dish. Meanwhile, pecans add a delightful crunch to this salad and are packed with heart healthy fats. Lastly, the salad’s unique and light dressing is bursting with fall flavor.
Packed with nutrients and seasonal ingredients alike, this salad is sure to be a hit at any fall meal!
For the Salad:
½ cup uncooked quinoa
¾ cup water
1 tart apple, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
½ cup pecans, chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries (feel free to substitute cherries or any other dried fruit)
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Dash of cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Thoroughly rinse and drain the quinoa. (Quinoa is coated with a bitter substance that should be rinsed away prior to cooking).
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Once the water begins to boil, add the quinoa and reduce it to a simmer. Cover and let the quinoa simmer for about 10 minutes. Then, remove the pan from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set the quinoa aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
In a separate, large bowl, combine the diced apples, chopped pecans, and cranberries.
Add the dressing to the apples, pecans, and cranberries. Stir to combine.
Once the quinoa has cooled, add it to the rest of the salad. Stir to combine.
Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.