Red Quinoa Salad

Back from a vacation to Crested Butter, CO and back to blogging!  Hope everyone had a great Holiday season.  I made this festive red quinoa salad for Christmas at my folks but it would be perfect for anytime of the year. 

Red Quinoa Salad
with Arugala, Apples, Walnuts, Gouda, and Cranberries
from Tastespotting

1½ cups red quinoa
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ large red onion, minced
4 oz. arugula, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
4 oz. aged Gouda, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 large, crisp apple, such as Fuji or Pink Lady, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely sliced fennel
1 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

In a bowl, rinse the quinoa with water, rubbing it between your fingers for about 10 seconds. (It is necessary to rinse quinoa well before cooking because the seeds are coated with saponins, naturally-occurring plant chemicals that can taste bitter.) Drain and transfer it to a 3-quart pot. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender but still delicately crunchy, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the quinoa and return it to the pot. Cover and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes; then fluff it with a fork. Let cool to room temperature. While the quinoa cooks, soak red onion in small bowl of water for approximately 30 minutes. Soaking the red onion will reduce its astringency. When quinoa has cooled, in a large bowl, mix the quinoa, onions, arugula, cheese, apple, walnuts, fennel, and cranberries. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the sherry vinegar, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and gently mix it in. Let rest a moment; then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil if the salad seems dry.

Health Benefits of Red Quinoa

  • Complete protein: contains all 9 essential amino acids in the correct proportions that are necessary to support the repair of tissues and organs.
  • High in fiber which promotes heart and digestive health and controls blood glucose and insulin concentrations.
  • Minerals: good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, tryptophan, copper, and phosphorus, which are particularly valuable for people who suffer from migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
  • Good source of riboflavin (also called vitamin B2), which is necessary for proper energy production within cells.

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

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