Apricot pecans quinoa salad is an easy recipe that you can make all year round. It is also gluten-free, perfect for holidays or dinners where you need various foods to please everyone. This is also an excellent option for vegetarians/vegans.
What is quinoa
Quinoa is a type of grain grown in the Andes in countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. It is a food staple in the region, but in recent years it has become more and more popular in American cuisine, especially among vegetarians and other people who are gluten intolerant.
It is a complete protein, possessing all eight essential amino acids. It is also low in saturated fat, very high in fiber, and a good source of calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.
It is usually cooked like rice, and the grain becomes soft and creamy, but the germ stays crunchy.
How to cook quinoa
For each cup of uncooked quinoa, use 2 cups of water and ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Fluff it up and use it.
(Tip: Some stores have already cooked quinoa in the frozen isles. )
Ingredients for Apricots Pecans Quinoa Salad
Dried apricots are a great source of potassium and vitamin A. They are naturally sweet and usually dried with no added sugar. They work in this salad as they add texture, sweetness, and many nutritional benefits.
If you cannot find pecans, you can try walnuts. However, pecans are my favorite ingredient in this salad as they are crunchy, with a buttery texture, and are healthy for you.
Turmeric is a fragrant spice powder used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is a great addition to this salad as it adds an extra kick with lots of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A great ingredient!
The best olive oil for salads is extra virgin olive oil. It is the olive oil with the most flavored and fruity of all of them.
Apple cider vinegar
I like apple cider vinegar because it is milder and full of flavor. You can replace it with red or white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or lemon juice if you don't have it.
How to make the salad
I cannot think of anything easier to put together than this salad!
Step 1. Chop the dried apricots and the pecans.
Step 2. Grab a salad bowl, place the cooked quinoa, and add the apricots and pecans. Add the turmeric and stir to combine.
Step 3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil and apple cider vinegar—season to taste. Pour the salad dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss it together.
It could be a great side dish for Thanksgiving or any other holiday, especially if you have people in your family and friends who follow a gluten-free diet.
To enhance the flavor of the nuts, consider toasting them lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat before adding them to the salad.
This will bring out their natural oils and make them taste even more delicious.
Also, if you're planning to store the salad for a few days, consider adding the dressing just before serving to keep the ingredients fresh and crunchy.
Storing this delightful quinoa salad is a breeze. Transfer the salad into an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The salad's flavors will meld together over time, enhancing the overall taste. Remember to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute the dressing.
Absolutely! This salad is very versatile. You can add other ingredients like dried cranberries, feta cheese, or roasted vegetables to make it even more flavorful and nutritious.
Yes, this salad can be made ahead of time. In fact, it tastes even better after it has been refrigerated for a few hours as this allows the flavors to meld together.
If you don't have quinoa, you can use other grains like couscous, bulgur, or farro. Keep in mind that the cooking times and water ratios may vary depending on the grain.
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Apricots Pecans Quinoa Salad
- Roughly chop the apricots and nuts.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the apricots, nuts, and turmeric and stir.
- Add the cooked quinoa.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil and apple cider vinegar—season to taste.
- Pour the salad dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss it together.