I’m convinced we grow sick of salads and dread them in our lunchbox because we stop taking the time to focus on the flavors that we’re adding to the bowl. We fall in a rut, and start throwing tomatoes over lettuce, grab the nearest salad dressing and calling it a day.
With truly endless combinations of veggies, grains and fruits, there’s no reason on Earth to get sick of salad. Take the time to explore different fresh tastes and usual dressings, and you’ll surely opt for healthy salads much more often.
Here’s a salad that’s interesting enough to serve to at a fall feast, yet simple enough to whip up for weekday lunch. I like using Red Delicious apples because of the bright color and feeling of fall they add to the dish.
Autumn Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 small Red Delicious apple, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped, set aside
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp. basil, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Cook quinoa as package instructs. I use a ratio of 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Bring to boil for 3 minutes, then let simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed by the quinoa. Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
Transfer cooked quinoa to a large serving bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together syrup, lemon, basil, salt, pepper and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil from sun dried tomatoes.
Add apple, sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, and cranberries to large bowl. Drizzle syrup mixture over top and toss until lightly coated.
Serve on its own or as a festive fall side dish.