autumn quinoa salad

Autumn Quinoa Salad
Recipe adapted from Blue Zones

It’s finally starting to feel like fall again! Which means I’m getting ready to start cooking warm, fall foods. For me that means cinnamon, root vegetables, squashes and cranberries. It does NOT have to mean you throw away your summer diet! It’s still just as easy to find healthy fall foods as is is to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies of summer.

What’s in season in Massachusetts at this time of year? Here’s a quick list:

[col size=’4/16′ pos=’first’]
Apples
Beets
Broccoli
Broccoli raab
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Celeriac/celery root
Celery
Chard
[/col]

[col size=’4/16′ pos=’second’]
Chicories
Cranberries
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Escarole
Fennel
Garlic
Grapes
Kale
[/col]

[col size=’4/16′ pos=’third’]
Chicories
Kohlrabi
Leeks
Lettuce
Melons
Onions
Oregano
Parsley
Parsnips
[/col]

[col size=’4/16′ pos=’last’]
Pears
Peas and pea pods
Peppers (sweet)
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Radicchio
Rutabagas
Shelling beans
Squash (winter)
Turnips
[/col]


I have no idea how to use escarole, so if you have any ideas, let me know! I’m going to focus today’s blog on an autumn recipe that involves the nutrient-dense, ancient grain: quinoa. Why is quinoa so great? It’s a high protein whole grain, which can actually make you live longer. By eating 90 grams of whole grains a day, you can reduce your risk of mortality by 17%! Crazy!

autumn quinoa saladHere’s what you need to make this delicious autumn quinoa salad:

  • 1 1/2 cup quinoa
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

So how do you do it?

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the green onions, carrot and peas, and set aside to come to room temperature.
  3. Add the beans, peanuts, cranberries, oil, vinegar and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
    *Variation: Substitute cooked brown rice for the quinoa, or a different type of nut in place of the peanuts.

That’s it! It’s great hot or cold, so feel free to use the extras as leftovers the next day.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.