This quinoa salad was created a few months back when Bill and I competed in our “Chopped Challenge.” Quinoa was one of Bill’s secret ingredients and he came up with this excellent side dish that we have made a staple in our recipe box. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, essential amino acids, fiber, and iron.
This quinoa salad has crunchy almonds, sweet dried cranberries and tender asparagus accented by sesame oil. This flavor combination that Bill came up with goes wonderful as a side dish with fish, chicken or beef. You could also have it by itself for lunch or a snack. We have only had this salad warm, but I will definitely serve it cold this summer at a BBQ.
Quinoa Salad Recipe
1/2 cup whole almonds1 cup quinoa
2 cup chicken stock
1cup chopped asparagus, 1/2 inch size pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon sesame oil
In a small pan, toast the almonds. Be sure to keep an eye on these as they can burn quickly
In a small sauce pan, combine chicken stock and quinoa. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with a lid and turn down the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, steam chopped asparagus for 10-15 minutes until tender.
In a large serving bowl, combine quinoa, toasted almonds, cranberries, asparagus and sesame oil. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!
Tips:1) Quinoa doesn’t have much flavor, so we prefer to cook it in chicken stock. If you want to keep this vegetarian, it would be excellent in vegetable stock.
2) We have used green beans instead of asparagus for this recipe too!
3) Serve this warm or cold.
4) If you prefer, you can chop the almonds once they are toasted.