Red, White and Blueberry Quinoa Salad

Hearty quinoa is paired with sweet blueberries, strawberries and cranberries, balanced by salty pecans and dressed with a tart grapefruit vinaigrette. The whole family will have fun shaping this colorful salad into a star and kids will love drizzling on the stripes of vanilla yogurt. This recipe comes to us from Donna of Apron Strings.

Food for Thought: Agave nectar is a sweetener similar to honey. It’s made from cactus plants that only grows in hot environments. Most agave comes from Mexico or South Africa.

Cooking Tip of the Week: Quinoa is a heart-healthy whole grain native to South America. It can be found in the grain section of most grocery stores and is cooked much like rice.

Family Dinner Conversation Starter: The ingredients in this meal come from all over the world. What could our family do that would make the world a better place?

 Bring the salted water to a boil. Turn down the heat so that the water reaches a rolling simmer.

 Pour the quinoa in the salted, simmering water. Cover and let simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.

Together:  While the quinoa is cooking, whisk the grapefruit juice, zest, agave nectar and oil together in a medium bowl. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.

Together:  Stir the grapefruit vinaigrette into the cooked quinoa while the quinoa is still hot. Let the dressed quinoa cool to room temperature.

 After the quinoa has cooled, toss it together with the diced pecans, diced strawberries, blueberries and cranberries. Chill the quinoa berry salad in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Together:  Pile the chilled quinoa berry salad into a large mound in the middle of a serving plate. Evenly surround the quinoa salad with the 5 watermelon triangles, so that the dish as a whole resembles a star.

Just before serving, drizzle everything with the vanilla Greek yogurt. Divide into 4 portions on plates and enjoy!

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