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Autumn Apple and Quinoa Salad

Makes 6 Servings
This gluten free salad features the flavors of autumn with apples, walnuts, cranberries, and cheddar cheese.

1 cup quinoa

1½ cups water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

3 ounces reduced-fat white or orange Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)

1 medium red or green apple, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 1/4 cups)

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

1/3 cup dried cranberries

  1. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse very well several times under cold running water. Drain well. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the quinoa in the skillet and “toast,” stirring frequently, until the quinoa is dry and gives off a nutty aroma, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the water or broth in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the “toasted” quinoa and stir well. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  3. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and fluff gently with a fork every few minutes until the grains cool.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined. Set aside.
  5. Gently stir the cheese, apples, walnuts, and cranberries into the quinoa. Stir in the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Nutrition Information per Serving (about 1 cup): 330 calories, 18g fat (4.5g saturated, 0.9g omega-3), 35g carbohydrate, 190mg sodium, 3g fiber, 8g protein, 10% calcium