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Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Cucumber, and Cranberries

My desire to eat healthy food is constantly being challenged by all the M&M's out there in the world.  Ahhhhh...

I'm trying to even out the scales though.  Can you tell?  I'm getting my protein in with some quinoa and some other goodies.  Let me just put it out there that this recipe is pretty much a dump of the items in my refrigerator and my pantry.  No shame in this game.  I'm just keeping it honest.

Can I also state that this salad would be PERFECT for a summer picnic?  Not that I'm thinking about summer already, because I am just loving these single digit temperatures.  Aren't you?  ... Now before you tell me that it's winter and it's supposed to be cold...yes, I know that, but seriously, Mama Nature is just being rude at this point.

Anyhow, I really enjoyed this salad and I may have eaten all 4 - 6 servings by myself.  #nojudgement

What?  A girl can't be hungry? I really like avocado, ok.  And cucumbers and cranberries.  #owningit

I swear this hashtag thing isn't going to be a thing.  For real.

 

Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Cucumber, and Cranberries
makes 4 - 6 servings

Print Recipe

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • kosher salt
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 medium firm-ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 - 3 medium scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • freshly ground black pepper

1)  In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water, quinoa, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.  Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. 

2) Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then place the quinoa onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.  Set aside.

3) In a small bowl, whisk together the zest and juice of the entire lemon, olive oil, oregano, cumin, paprika, chili pepper, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

4) In a large bowl, combine the vinaigrette with the quinoa, avocado, cucumber, cranberries, scallions, and almonds.  Mix well.

5) Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.