Fabulously Fruity Quinoa Salads

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June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month! What better way to get your recommended daily intake of fresh fruits than with a yummy, nutritious salad! Quinoa has so many health benefits it’s hard to keep up: rich in fiber, high in protein, contains essential amino acids, abundance of minerals (magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron), and loaded with antioxidants. Quinoa is a super food that should definitely make it into your diet more—move over rice. Here are three fabulously fruity salads to get you stared!

pineapple quinoa

Photo via Kathy Patalsky

Pineapple Fried Quinoa

First Sauté:
10 mini sized tofu triangles
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp tamari
fine black pepper
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Safflower oil for sautéing

Second Sauté:
1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced**
4 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 red onion, diced
Sautéed shiitakes + red onion from tofu sauté pan
1 cup kale, shredded
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp dried jalapeños
Splash of maple syrup and pinch of salt, to taste

Garnish Sauté:
1/2 cup pineapple, finely diced**

Tahini Pineapple Dressing:
2 tbsp Tahini
3 tbsp pineapple juice
1 tsp chopped mint

**Tip: Use a pineapple knife and pineapple slicer to make the process easier!

Cook quinoa using 1 1/4 cups dry quinoa + 1 cup water + 1 cup veggie broth + pinch salt. Set cooked quinoa aside. First sauté: Start off with a thin layer of safflower oil. Add tofu triangles (dry them as much as possible). Allow to sizzle for a minute. Add in tamari and maple syrup with a generous layer of black pepper. Cook on high for 2 minutes on both sides. Add the shiitakes and onions. Cook until vegetables are tender. Remove tofu from pan and set aside. Leave mushrooms, onions and any excess liquid in pan.

Second sauté: Add the quinoa, diced pineapple, more red onion, mint, kale, nutritional yeast and jalapeños to the pan with a splash of safflower oil. Turn heat to high and cook for 3 minutes—moving the quinoa around to cook on all sides. Add a splash of tamari or maple syrup if needed. Transfer fried quinoa to a bowl. Set aside. Garnish sauté: Quickly brown the edges of the diced pineapple. Mix ingredients for dressing. Set aside.

To plate you can use a pre-hollowed pineapple. Add the fried quinoa. Then the pineapple garnish over top. Serve with the dressing and tofu on the side or added over top of dish. Recipe via Kathy Patalsky.


Photo via Green Plate Rule

Sweet Potato, Apple and Kale Quinoa Salad

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed if needed
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups sweet potato, diced
4 cups kale, chopped
1 large apple, diced with lemon juice**
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 tsp salt
Balsamic vinaigrette
Chopped pecans and goat cheese, optional

**Tip: Use an apple divider to make perfect cuts!

Add the quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium pot, and turn on to high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer until cooked, about 12-15 minutes.
While quinoa is cooking, add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced sweet potatoes and salt, then cover. Stir occasionally. If it starts to brown too much, add a little water or broth. Cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes, then add the kale and continue to stir until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the diced apple and cherries to the sweet potatoes. Once quinoa is cooked and cooled slightly, add it to the sweet potatoes. Spoon in the vinaigrette a couple tbsp at a time. Top with goat cheese and chopped pecans, optional. Recipe via Green Plate Rule.

pom kale-salad

Photo via Beantown Baker

Kale and Quinoa Salad

1 small butternut squash
1 pomegranate, seeded**
2 bunches kale
1 cup quinoa
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
1 cup water
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
Salt and pepper
Pinch of smoked paprika or ground chipotle pepper

**Tip: Use this pomegranate tool to easily remove seeds!

Preheat oven to 375F. Peel butternut squash. Heat in microwave for 5 minutes to soften. Cut into 1 inch on pieces. Toss with honey, olive oil and paprika. Spread squash onto a foil lined baking sheet and bake 30 minutes or until roasted. Stir every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing the other components.

Prepare the quinoa by following the instructions on package or combining 2 cups of water with 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until quinoa is cooked.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the kale by removing any of the thick stems. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Add the kale with 1 cup of water to a large pan or dutch oven. Cover and cook on med-high to steam the kale for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, toss kale, and cook another 5 minutes.bRemove from heat and allow to cool. Once squash, quinoa, and kale are cooked and cooled to room temperature, combine in a large bowl. Add pomegranate seeds, goat cheese and walnuts. Toss to combine. Add salt/pepper to taste. Recipe via Beantown Baker.