Honey-Strawberry Quinoa Salad

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, August 24, 2012

Ready to serve up a new, fun summer salad for your Labor Day picnic or BBQ? You can easily add seasonal fruits and vegetables into a grain-based salad for a simple and flavorful dish. By sticking to fresh, whole and natural ingredients, you will be packing in the flavor to this quinoa salad. This dish is as quick as it is flavorful, and with all of the fresh strawberries and sweet honey mixed in, it is so satisfying on the dog days of summer.

Try this salad stuffed into a pita, or serve it on a bed of greens for a light supper. And at the height of bell pepper season, you can use it to fill hollowed-out red bell peppers for an elegant entree. Feel free to play around with this recipe; stepping into your farmers market will give you a whole new perspective of what else you can toss into this dish. No strawberries at the market? No problem. Fresh raspberries or blackberries are a sweet alternative. Not a fan of almonds? Pistachios are a sweeter alternative. If you’re planning on hosting a vegan guest, you can easily substitute agave nectar for the honey. Quinoa is a complete protein and a tasty gluten-free pasta-alternative that can be enjoyed by all.

Here, scallions and strawberries soak up the honey and lime juice to create a salad that’s fragrant and full-bodied. Once you make the quinoa, this salad only takes a few minutes to assemble and add the perfect amount of spice to your Labor Day BBQ.

Honey-Strawberry Quinoa Salad (Gluten-Free and Vegetarian)
Serves 8

For Salad:
2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
12 large fresh strawberries, quartered
2 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
¼ tsp. fresh lime zest

For Dressing:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Place cooked quinoa, strawberries, scallions and cranberries into a large bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, honey, cinnamon, chili powder, sea salt and pepper. Add dressing to salad; gently toss to combine. Sprinkle slivered almonds and lime zest over salad. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP, Editor-in-Chief of The Healthy Apple and a Manhattan based Culinary Nutritionist, Personal Chef, Professional Recipe Developer and Food Writer specializing in simple Gluten-Free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook.

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