A simple, make ahead quinoa salad filled with tart cranberries, smoked almonds, basil, creamy goat cheese and finished off with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette!
This is either going to make you overly excited or scare the crap out of you.
Thanksgiving is a mere 37 days away! Which makes Christmas only 66 days away. So which boat are you in?
Personally, I adore the holidays. The parties with friends, the wine drank with family and the cheeriness in the bitterly cold air. The one thing I could do without during the holidays. Snow and KC’s frigid weather.
But luckily, I have ample amount of food and laugher to warm me up. For every family gathering, my mother turns to me to create one delicious menu that will please old and young alike.
As I approach the drawing board, my mind immediately starts running through all the classic flavors of full – sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans, turkey, pecans, and cocktails galore. But of all the dishes, side dishes and appetizers get my gears going. The endless possibilities of flavors and textures available make light bulbs go off in my head.
Quinoa is a staple around our house. From entrees to appetizers, its nutty and wholesome flavor seems to fit everyone’s liking. When someone is on the fence about it, I pitch it as brown rice and then proceed to watch them fall in love. Tart dried cranberries are tossed in to add a touch of sweetness, and then creamy goat cheese is crumbled in to add bright notes to the salad. Those two alone make me swoon.
Smoked almonds; my afternoon snack when I need a boost or I am just bored. But who needs a reason to eat smoked almonds? Slightly salty and 100% crunchy. When added into our salad, the earthiness and crunch they provide is irresistible!
A simple quinoa salad that can be made ahead of time, chilled in the fridge then brought out when ready to serve is a must on everyone’s holiday menu this year. Or heck, even to your weekly menu! No need to wait for the holidays to indulge in a hearty salad that is healthy and so simple to make!
Make sure to also check out the Cranberry & Smoked Almond Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe over at Celebrations!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup smoked almonds
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
- When done, in a large bowl, add quinoa, cranberries, almonds, goat cheese, basil and balsamic vinaigrette.
- Garnish with more chopped basil.
- Serve immediately.
Craving more quinoa?
If you make this recipe, make sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #HOUSEWIFEINTRAININGFILES. I’d love to see what you are cooking up in your kitchen!