Today's recipe is brought to you by the wonderful folks over at the Cranberry Institute. I've been a Cranberry Bog Blogger for the past year, which means that every now and then I get a package of goodies in the mail from the Cranberry Institute, along with some interesting new research about cranberries, and a new recipe to try and share with all of you. I'll just say it. I'm a sucker for a surprise package of food. Usually I try to put my own twist on the recipe - like my Cranberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Rollup Sandwiches or my Cranberry Asian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, but the latest recipe suggestion from the Cranberry Institute sounded pretty darn tasty just as it was, so I went with it.
Holy yum! Sweet, juicy cranberries paired with crunchy vegetables, cilantro (my all-time fav herb), protein-packed quinoa, and zhooshed up with a dash of Sriracha (OK that was my change - cause everything's a little bit better with a dash of Sriracha, right?). I love me some sweet AND savory in a salad, and this one hits the mark just right.
This is perfectly filling and satisfying for a Meatless Monday dinner, or serve it as a side dish with some grilled salmon.
Oh - and in case you're wondering about the latest cranberry research fact... Cranberries may reduce the risk of stomach ulcers caused by the bacteria H. pylori. Kind of in the same way they help to prevent urinary tract infections - cranberries contain a compound that prevents bacteria to adhering to places it's not supposed to be. So eat some cranberries, would ya!
Cranberry Cilantro Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- ½ cup minced carrots
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped yellow pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt to taste
- few dashes of Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste optional
- In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil over high heat. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat, and let quinoa cool to room temperature. Quinoa can also be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Place quinoa in a large mixing bowl, and add cranberries, vegetables, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and red pepper flakes. Stir together and add salt and pepper to taste.
- If more spice is desired, add a few dashes of hot sauce to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for flavors to blend.
- Serve at room temperature, or cold.
Do you like your salads all vegetable-y or are you adventurous and throw some sweetness in?