As the weather gets warmer it is a great time to give the oven a break and make healthy and delicious salads. I recently made this Cranberry & Cilantro Quinoa Salad. I found it quick and fairly simple to make. Basically if you know how to cook quinoa and chop up some veggies then you are all set. This recipe does make 8 servings so it would be great for a bringing to a BBQ or picnic. If you are just cooking for yourself that is okay too. You will just have some tasty leftovers for later! This quinoa salad is unique because it features cranberries. Research studies have been showing that cranberries may have some beneficial effects in the body. Cranberries have a bacterial anti-adhesion property which has led to a lot of interesting research to see if cranberries can help with stomach ulcers, urinary tract infections, and even oral health. Also research is being done on the ability of cranberries to lower inflammation. If you are interested in learning more about the research here is the link to The Cranberry Institute’s Cranberry Health Research Library http://cranberryinstitute.org/doclib/doclib_search.cgi.
Yield: 8 servings
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup minced carrots
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ tsp. salt
Pinch ground red pepper
1. In a small sauce pan, bring water and pinch of salt to a boil over high heat; stir in quinoa, reduce heat and bring to a low simmer. Cover pot and cook until all liquid is absorbed (about 13 minutes).
2. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. To the bowl of quinoa, stir in cranberries, carrots, red and yellow peppers, red onion and cilantro until mixed.
4. In a small bowl, mix together lime juice, oil, salt and ground red pepper and pour over quinoa-cranberry mixture; toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Does not have to be served cold.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 150, Calories from Fat 30, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 3.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 115mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Sugars 11g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 40%, Vitamin C 45%, Calcium 2%, Iron 6%
Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee, uscranberries.com