Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quinoa Fruit Salad

Morgan has posted about quinoa before but just incase you forgot, it's AMAZING. Quinoa is a grain, full of fiber and protein. Quinoa is safe for those following a gluten free diet and it's also a must-have for vegetarians. It's also one of those very versatile ingredients that you can make so many different dishes out of. I went ahead and used all of the batch I made for this fruit salad but feel free to make extra and use it with beans (instead of rice) or for breakfast (in place of oats).

I wanted to make a quick dish that would make a perfect side to baked fish or even served on top of spinach with a piece of grilled chicken for a well rounded meal. So quinoa fruit salad is what I came up with. To make this you don't necessarily have to have the same fruit I used, be creative. This salad would be great with berries and pecans or even citrus fruit and walnuts. I'm sure I'll make it again with a few different players ;).

In the mix:
-1 cup dry quinoa (3 cups cooked)
-6 pitted dates
-6 unsweetened, unsulpherized turkish apricots
-2 plums
-1/4 cup pine nuts
-1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
-1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
-drizzle of honey (make it as sweet as you'd like)

Start by making the quinoa per bag directions. Once I had the quinoa going I started to chop up my fruit. I must confess I think only 1.75 plums made it into the mix, I got hungry! I choose to use organic ingredients but you don't have to. I also choose unsweetened dried fruit, simply because we don't need all that extra sugar, fruit is sweet enough! Toss all the fruit in a bowl and squeeze lemon over the bowl, add the cinnamon and honey. I would guess I used 2 tbsp of honey for the entire batch. Toss the fruit together. It will look something like this...

Then add the nuts...
Finally, add the quinoa and toss together. I recommend you serve this cold, so once the quinoa cools toss it in the refrigerator and enjoy!

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