I’m guessing that a lot of people are busy today either running around doing last minute shopping for the holidays, staring at the clock waiting for work to be over and holidays to start, or working more than ever during the busy retail season, so I’ll try to keep today’s post short and to the point!
This warm quinoa salad has lots of roasted brussels sprouts, some toasted walnuts for crunch, dried cranberries for sweetness, and chickpeas for added protein (although quinoa is a complete protein itself), all tossed in a light balsamic dressing. It’s healthy and light but still pretty filling and satisfying. I’ve been enjoying it as a nutritious meal in between holiday indulgences, but it would also make a great dish to serve at a big holiday meal – it’s both vegan and gluten-free, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for something that everyone at the table can enjoy! And I didn’t think of this until after but it would look even more festive with some pomegranate seeds thrown in there!
If brussels sprouts aren’t your thing, you could try this sweet potato and kale quinoa salad I made around this time last year – I know I’ll be making big batches of both of these over the next couple weeks!
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Warm Quinoa Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Chickpeas & Cranberries
Adapted from Vegetarian Times, October 2012
Serves 3-4 as a main dish
1-1/4 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1-1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 475°F. Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until browned and tender, tossing once.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa, cover, reduce heat to simmer and let simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes, covered, then fluff with a fork.
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Taste and adjust any amounts to your liking. Note that this makes a small amount (just enough) of dressing because I don’t like to add too much to my quinoa, but if you like more dressing you can double the ingredients and use as much as you like.
Mix together the quinoa, brussels sprouts, walnuts, cranberries, and chickpeas. Drizzle the dressing overtop and toss. Serve warm.