A recipe for a chopped vegetarian side salad or main dish featuring cranberries and quinoa that you can enjoy now or make ahead for later.
I’ve been on a quinoa salad kick the past few weeks. These salads are like those dishes that I forget I like until I make it, and then I’m like why haven’t I been eating this? I think quinoa salads are perfect for the spring. They are light yet satisfying and make a great lunch meal or side dish at dinner. And they are so versatile -- you don’t need a recipe if you just follow this formula.
In this salad the dried cranberries are my favorite part. I think that little bit of sweetness in every bite is so important to balance the flavors. I love using dried cranberries because they don’t add a juicy element to the dish and sometimes you want that. I also love their amazing antioxidant powers! This whole salad is pretty high in antioxidants, actually. From the sprouts and the cilantro to the chopped arugula – it’s a big bowl of super nutrient density!
You can also swap out a few basic ingredients in the recipe to fit any international cuisine. Here are a few ways to inspire you in the kitchen:
- Swap out the cilantro and lime juice for ginger and soy sauce for an Asian flare.
- Go Mediterranean by replacing the carrots, cilantro and lime juice for tomatoes, olives and chickpeas and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
- Create an Indian bowl by swapping out the carrots, zucchini, cilantro and lime juice for winter squash, sweet potatoes, pecans, and curry paste. Add an extra kick with cayenne pepper!
Chopped Quinoa Salad is the perfect recipe featuring cranberries and quinoa you can enjoy now or later! Tweet this
Chopped Quinoa Salad with Cranberries
- 1.5 cups water
- Pinch of salt
- Zest from 1 lemon + juice from half of lemon
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup shredded carrots, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 big handful sprouts (I used Mung Bean sprouts)
- 1 zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 big handful arugula, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 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 16 minutes).
- Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To the bowl of quinoa, add cranberries, carrots, zucchini, arugula, scallions, cilantro and sprouts. Stir to combine. In a small jar with a lid, add lime juice, oil, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Shake until well blended.
- Pour dressing over quinoa and toss to coat evenly. Serve cold or room temperature.