Quinoa Salad with Pecans and Cranberries

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
June 15, 2010

Nutrition Diva Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Pecans and Cranberries

This is my new favorite side dish. Quinoa is a high-protein grain with a nutty flavor and interesting, slightly chewy texture. Look for it in the natural foods or gourmet section of your grocery or at your local health food store. Quinoa is gluten-free.

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place quinoa in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under running water to remove the grain's bitter saponins.
2. Put quinoa, water, and salt in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Check frequently.) When water is absorbed, test quinoa for tenderness. If it is not yet tender, add a bit more water and cook until absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool in the pan, still covered.
3. While quinoa is cooling, toast pecans briefly in a dry skillet over medium low heat, just until fragrant.
4. Place seasoned vinegar in large mixing bowl and add walnut oil in a thin stream while whisking briskly.
5. Add quinoa, pecans, and cranberries and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For best flavor, serve salad at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Quinoa image courtey of Shutterstock