Thanksgiving Side Dish: Citrusy Quinoa Salad With Pomegranates And Cranberries

I don’t typically pepper my diet with items that could be referred to as “superfoods.” I mean, I know I should, but I just…don’t. Because when I hear “healthy grain” what that translates to in my head is “cardboard.” And cardboard is not especially delicious.

But the thing about these superfoods – and quinoa, which is full of protein, fiber, iron, and lysine (essential for tissue growth and repair, making it a big skin-health booster) in particular – is that while they may not be something you’d want to eat a huge bowl of on their own, they’re excellent delivery systems for much more delicious things. My favorite additions: a citrusy vinaigrette and an assortment of fruits (antioxidant-rich pomegranate seeds and cranberries and vitamin C-filled orange) that are both good-tasting and good for you.

Bonus: this makes for a very, very pretty autumnal side dish, and an unexpected (and super-healthy) addition to your Thanksgiving table.

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What You Need:

1 cups dry quinoa

2 cups water

1 cup orange juice

½ tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup orange slices, cut in half (or use mandarin oranges)

2 tbsp fresh chopped mint

Sea salt

What You Do:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes (or according to package instructions), then remove cover and fluff with a fork. Set quinoa aside to cool.
  1. Meanwhile, simmer the orange juice until it reduces by half. Let cool, then whisk in the olive oil and lemon juice.
  1. In a large serving bowl, toss together quinoa, dressing, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, orange slices, mint, and salt to taste. Serve chilled.

quinoa pomegranate salad

citrus quinoa

quinoa salad

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