Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Quinoa & Apple Salad

It is a quiet and rainy day here in Minnesota. I actually love sitting in the restaurant on days like today. The rain looks beautiful against the gigantic windows and the gray sky makes the restaurant feel cozy.

As I had said on Monday I love fall but there is one thing that makes transitioning into the season a bit harder. If you are eating seasonally which I tend to try and do those lovely salad options start to diminish. All those refreshing salad fixings disappear and being a vegetable junky I like to try and find creative ways to incorporate the flavors of fall into a season permitting salad.

Sometimes it is hard to even get yourself to crave a salad in this chilly weather so I wanted to think outside of the box. I wanted a salad that could be both served hot or cold and that I would really enjoy eating. I also wanted it to be both hearty and on the lighter side. When I think of vegetables in the fall I think of butter roasted Brussels sprouts and candied carrots. Essentially I think of very heavy dishes. Although it is nice to have a small helping of those delectable delights sometimes they can be a bit rich and over the top.

I wracked my brain for a bit and decided I for sure wanted to incorporate apples and a lighter cheese. I love how apples can bring such a crisp and refreshing element to savory dishes- especially when served raw. So I decided on an Quinoa & Apple salad. I ate the salad warm when I made it the first night but it can be eaten cold as well. It was very well rounded and incorporated a lot of those fall flavors most people search for once it starts to get cold outside.

To Read The Recipe Click Below...


- 1 Honey Crisp Apple (Remember apples are one of the dirty dozen. If at all possible organic apples are the way to go!)

- 1 C of cooked quinoa ( follow the directions on the package. Any type of quinoa will do and if you want to add some additional flavor you can use chicken stock as your cooking liquid)

- 1 C Butternut Squash (cubed and roasted with salt and pepper)

- 1/4 C crumbled feta cheese


- 1/4 C chopped green onions

- 1/2 sherry vinegar

- 1 C olive oil

- 1/2 tsp brown sugar

- 1 tsp brown mustard

- Salt and pepper to taste


Roast your squash at 375 for 10 minutes or until golden brown and softened.

Cook your quinoa (if you want to serve the salad warm you can mix the salad right after the quinoa is cooked. If you want the salad cold chill your quinoa all the way through before mixing the salad)

I like to mix the dressing in the same bowl as the salad if I am not going to make the dressing into an emulsion. Add all the dressing ingredients to the bowl except for the oil. Let the green onion sit in the vinegar mixture for a few minutes. The onion flavor will leach into the vinegar and add a little more flavor to the dressing. Once it has sat whisk in the olive oil at a slow pace until it is all incorporated.

Add sliced apples, squash, feta, and quinoa to the dressing and mix.

Now you have a lovely light and refreshing fall salad!

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