It’s Thanksgiving week, friends!! A very exciting time, at least for those of us who are all about that thanksgiving meal. Even with the shortened work week and the change in schedule, I still meal prepped a delicious lunch so that I would have it around for days when I was working, or busy prepping for Thanksgiving.
I wanted to keep it simple, quick, and fresh, so I turned to one of my favs: a quinoa salad! I wanted to capture the feeling of fall and grab some produce from the farmers market. I went with:
- roasted sweet potatoes – sprinkled with cinnamon and salt they’re my absolute fav
- dried cranberries – a tasty, sweet pop of flavor
- apples – a bit crunchy, a bit tart, completely perfect
- nuts – I used up what I had in my freezer, but wanted a nice crunch!
- green onions – a burst of freshness
- a tasty vinaigrette to bring it all together
In all honesty I meant to grab spinach to make this more of a salad situation, but forgot it, so here we are. It happens! Just make sure that all of the ingredients are cut into relatively small pieces so you can get the perfect bite with a bit of everything in it.
Also, a tip on storing nuts: pop them in the freezer! They’re very fatty and so can go rancid relatively quickly at room temperature. The freezer can keep them fresher longer, which is exactly what you’re after.
Apple Cranberry Quinoa Salad
makes 5 servings
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 small apples
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 bunch green onions
- 1/2 cup nuts, any kind. I used almonds and walnuts
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
for the vinegrette
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
How to do it
- make the quinoa: in a medium saucepot, combine the quinoa, 2 cups of water, and 1/2 tsp salt. bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed. transfer to a large container and let come to room temperature
- bake the sweet potatoes: preheat the oven to 420*. wash the sweet potatoes well, then cut them into small cubes. toss them with the oil, 1 tsp salt, and a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon. spread out on a sheet pan and roast for 20-25 minutes until soft. set aside to cool
- toast the nuts: decrease the oven temp to 350*. if needed, roughly chop your nuts then place onto a sheet pan. pop in the oven to toast them for 5-8 minutes until just browned and fragrant. keep an eye on the, they’ll burn quickly!
- prep the remaining ingredients: cube the apples into small pieces then toss with the juice of half a lemon. set aside. Thinly slice the green onion and set aside.
- make the vinaigrette: mince or grate the clove of garlic. in a small bowl, combine all ingredients well.
- assemble: once everything is room temperature, add all ingredients into the container with the quinoa. mix well, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- store in an airtight container and enjoy warm or cold!