Apple Quinoa Salad, Take One

A Base Hit

So, my first attempt at recreating the apple quinoa salad I had at the Whole Foods bar last month wasn’t exactly a knock-it-outta-the-park home run, but I’d call it a base hit.

After some recipe hounding and some creative guessing, I came up with the first draft of the recipe:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Toast the quinoa dry, in a saucepan, for 3 minutes while dicing the apples. Add OJ and apple juice to the quinoa, along with all the spices. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Add the apples, raisins, and maple syrup, and simmer 10 more minutes. Stir in almonds and serve.

It smelled wonderful and looked wonderful….

Apple Quinoa Salad, Take One

Apple Quinoa Salad, Take One

… but alas, it’s just a little too sweet for my taste.

That said, I have a *very* low sweetness threshold these days, as I don’t really eat anything sweetened anymore. My sweets come from fresh fruit. So this may be spot-on for somebody with a “normal” sweet tooth. I mean, there’s not even any added sugar, unless you count the maple syrup.

Next time I make this (and it’s definitely good enough to try again), these are my planned modifications:

  • Prep the quinoa with water instead of the apple juice/OJ combo.
  • Use 1 apple instead of 2. (This is just a preference thing – I was hoping the quinoa would be the star, but with so much apple, the apple was the star – which is fine if that’s what you’re going for!)
  • Cut the maple syrup back to 1 tbsp.

I’d say this recipe made 8 small servings. I enjoyed it warm last night and chilled this morning, and it works well either way. It reminds me of the flavors of apple pie – a nice twist on an American classic for this Independence Day weekend!