When September finally arrives with its overflowing bushel baskets of apples, I can hardly stop myself from adding them to…well…everything! Apples start showing up in neat slices next to my morning toast, they’re dipped in almond butter or sprinkled with cinnamon as a snack, they are diced with crunchy toasted almonds and thrown into salads at dinner, and they ceremoniously make their way into an apple crisp or a homemade apple pie on the first really chilly weekend of fall. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, my family is going to be reeeeeally healthy this month! Given my love of all things apple (now that I seem to have outgrown my apple allergy – see post here), I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to incorporate them into menus.
Here’s a recipe for a grain salad using protein-packed quinoa that is loaded with healthy mix-ins like apples, carrots, walnuts and dried cranberries. This makes a great vegetarian lunch or side dish at your fall dinner table. Enjoy it, in all it’s apple-y goodness.
Apple Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large granny smith apple (or other tart apple you prefer), diced
1 cup diced carrots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
salt & pepper
1. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer covered until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl, stir and let cool completely.
2. Whisk together the honey, lemon juice, and salt. Slowly whisk in the oil until well blended.
3. Once the quinoa is completely cool, add the apple, carrots, dried cranberries, parsley, and walnuts. Toss well. Add the dresssing and toss gently to coat the salad. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve at room temperature.