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Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Salad

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I squeezed in one more grain this month πŸ™‚ I made a quinoa salad last night. The recipe is from Food Network. I think it’s meant to be a side dish, but I served it as a main dish and our meatless meal for the week. The reviews…I thought it was awesome!!!! I wanted to eat the whole bowl πŸ˜› Justin liked it, but not as a main dish. He said he couldn’t eat a huge quantity at once. I kind of figured that would be the case. So, I had seconds and Justin didn’t finish what was on his plate. That doesn’t happen very often. This was our first taste of quinoa. Very good. And super easy to make. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive. This was a very light and healthy dish. And since I shaved a little paremsan cheese over top it had something from every food group in it! This is a very good base salad. You could add different veggies to it. And feta cheese crumbled on top would probably be good too. The other nice part is that you make it ahead of time (since it’s a cold salad). Always a bonus to be able to prep ahead. I only made a half batch and it made plenty. I’m excited for leftovers πŸ™‚

This post is linked to the Whole Foods for the Holidays progressive dinner – salad course.

Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Salad
serves 10

1 cup quinoa
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup frozen green beans, defrosted (I cut them into bite size pieces)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (soaked and dehydrated)
1/4 cup green onions, sliced (I left these out since I didn’t have any)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
(crumbled or shaved cheese for topping)

Combine quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking until all water is absorbed. (I cooked it for 12 min. Then left it covered for 15 min. off the heat.) (To make this easier to digest soak the quinoa over night, then proceed with recipe)

In a medium bowl, combine cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, green beans, walnuts, and green onions until well mixed. In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic until well blended. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Add cheese as desired.


  1. Sara says:

    This looks really good. I’m just not sure about cold grain salads myself, so I haven’t tried making any at home yet. I’ve had several types of chilled couscous salads (at conferences) and have loved the flavors/textures/etc. but haven’t liked the chilled part at all. Maybe a chilled quinoa salad would be different.

    Where/how do you buy your quinoa? I bought mine from the bulk bins at the health food store and haven’t thought it was too bad at all.

    I just noticed your bookshelf in the sidebar, too. I have The Four Loves and The Great Divorce on my “to read” list, too. I’ve never read Gone With the Wind, but have always thought I should at some point. I DVRed the movie when it was on a few weeks ago and am still making my way through it, a little at a time. Its over 3 hours long, so even if I had the time, I wouldn’t be able to sit through a 3 hour movie. I can’t even sit through a 2 hour movie! Too restless.

  2. I bet you could eat this salad warm…right after you make it. I don’t see why not. Or let it set to mix the flavors and then warm it up later. I nibbled a little right after I made it. I think it’s good warm or cold. Give it a try πŸ™‚

    I have read The Four Loves and The Great Divorce already…a few years ago. I want to re-read them. I have them if you want to borrow them. I got Gone With the Wind as a gift a few years ago. It’s just such a big book. Maybe now that I’m reading more frequently I could actually tackle that one. I can’t sit through movies either. 1 hour is about my limit πŸ™‚

  3. I forgot to mention, I bought Bob’s Redmill (is that what it’s called?) quinoa. $11.99 for a little bag!! I didn’t even notice the price until I got home. I wish I knew where to buy grains in bulk around here.

  4. Sara says:

    Oh my word! That is insanely expensive!! Does your health food store have a bulk section? Pretty much all of the health food stores that I’ve been into (except Trader Joe’s) have had bulk sections. Some have better prices and selection than others, but they’ve all had the bulk areas.

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