Zesty Apricot & Almond Quinoa Salad
A Healthy, Tasty and Versatile Food
This healthy dish is delish! I first tried it at a potluck and then emailed my friend who'd made it to get her recipe.
Quinoa is a great base for all kinds of ingredients. Quinoa salad can be eaten as a side dish for any meal of the day or, with an added ingredient or two, a main dish, especially for brunch or lunch.
Following the recipe below, I've included suggestions for substitutions and additions, but quinoa is a very versatile main ingredient, so feel free to be creative.
How Do You Pronounce Quinoa?
I thought it was pronounced "kin-o-ah," but it's actually pronounced "KEEN-wah" or "KEE-no-uh."
What Exactly IS Quinoa?
Quinoa is a chenopod, which is a grain-like crop that's actually related to beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, but quinoa greens are rarely sold commercially. The quinoa product sold in most grocery stores is the grain or seeds, which are high in protein.
Quinoa is an ancient grain, cultivated by the Incas, which is still grown extensively in the Andean region of South America.
According to Wikipedia, "Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights."
The Quinoa Plant -- Chenopodium quinoa
Make Zesty Apricot & Almond Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup of rinsed and drained quinoa
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup dried apricots diced into small pieces
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 shallot finely chopped (2 Tbsp.)
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
- 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 oranges with peels removed and cut into sections
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Toast the almonds in a dry skillet or toaster oven, or until pale brown and fragrant, stirring often. (About 5 minutes.)
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and salt, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender and almost all the water is absorbed.
- Drain and transfer to large bowl. Toss with apricots and raisins.
- Whisk together the orange juice, shallot, parsley, cilantro, mint, orange zest, cumin, and coriander. Whisk in the oil. Pour this dressing over the quinoa and toss to coat. Garnish with orange slices and toasted almonds.
|Serving size: 1 cup|
|Calories from Fat||117|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 13 g||20%|
|Saturated fat 1 g||5%|
|Carbohydrates 61 g||20%|
|Sugar 22 g|
|Fiber 7 g||28%|
|Protein 9 g||18%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 161 mg||7%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Quinoa Salad Additions and Substitutions
And some ingredients you can leave out if you want
- Add 1-1/2 cups of chickpeas and cut the oil in half to lower the fat content.
- Add 1 cup pomegranate arils
- Omit the shallot and add a little ginger.
- Replace the raisins with craisins.
- Leave out the mint.
- Substitute chopped, dried cherries for the raisins.
- Substitute mango for orange
More Quinoa Recipes -- It's such a versatile ingredient....
A Quinoa Cookbook: A Simple but Very Versatile Food
Do You Like Quinoa? - A visitor poll
What do you think of quinoa?
Have Quinoa Shipped to Your Door
Save by buying in bulk.
If you find you like to use quinoa as a base, it's more economical to buy in bulk, and it's not like it will go bad. Store it in an airtight plastic or glass container in a dark, cool place.
The people pictured above are Fairtrade Certified quinoa producers in Ecuador.
© 2011 Deb Kingsbury