The Best Quinoa Salad Ever

By • September 26, 2013 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Some days everything goes perfectly. The sun is shining and your hair looks great. You get a free ride (and a seat!) on the subway, and your boss says lunch is on her. You want to skip home and then dance like no one’s watching when you get there.

And then there are days that are completely opposite. Days like the day I made this recipe in an angry fury while venting loudly to my pal, Mary. First, the sun wasn’t shining, it was raining. Then, I found my first gray hair, had to pay for my own lunch, and I tripped and fell on my way to the subway where I did not get a seat and had to hold on to a pole that was laced with germs while sweaty people bumped against my arm. I’ll admit that as I emptied my fridge to prepare this salad I may have slammed some drawers, used the lemons as a stress ball, and grated the crap out of some poor garlic cloves, all of which truly helped with my frustration.

And then, as it all came together and I had the first taste of my angry creation, the imaginary sun in my foodie brain began to shine. I quickly started singing “salty, sour, sweet, and spicy” to the tune of Kanye West’s “Stronger” and did a little jig with excitement because it tasted so good. It took me a mere 20 minutes to create this dish and to realize that bad days can quickly be turned around when distracted by a dire love to create delicious food, and then eat it (and to also realize how lucky I am to have a fridge to clean out and delicious food to eat!). Now about that gray hair…
Emily Weinberger

Serves 6-8

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 Apple, cored, diced
  • 1/2 cup Dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower seeds
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, grated (remove seeds and rind if you don't like heat!)
  • 2 Lemons, juiced
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons Agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Prepare quinoa according to directions on package. Once cooked, add in butter and stir until melted.
  2. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients through the jalapeno.
  3. Add quinoa and vinaigrette to the large bowl with herbs and stir together. Season with salt and pepper and serve cold or hot.
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