This Vegetarian Quinoa Salad Recipe Makes the Best Week-Day Lunch

quinoa salad recipeMy weekends are packed with running errands, taking the kids to swim lessons, trying to fit in some fitness, and all the other mundane tasks that have to happen on the weekends. It’s really hard to fit it all in, but my goals for 2017 is to focus on my health and fitness.

I prioritize these two things most weekends by hitting my local farmer’s market or grocery store to stock up on fresh produce and fitting in some activities. Most weekends, I also get to the gym, or take my exercise outdoors. I also spend a good chunk of time meal prepping for the week. This quinoa salad recipe with hazelnuts, apples and cranberries is the perfect week-day meal I can pack and take with me to work.quinoa salad recipe 2I love this quinoa salad because it’s super easy to make, it’s healthy and it also keeps well in the fridge. It is the perfect light meal to enjoy after a workout or for a week-day lunch or dinner side dish.If you want to make this quinoa salad, I’ve included the instructions below. But if you find you don’t like one (or more) of the ingredients in here, you can easily leave them out. For example, if you’re not a fan of hazelnuts, you could easily substitute any other nut or seed into this recipe. I wouldn’t suggest removing them completely, as the nuts provide a great textural contrast to the quinoa. If you really dislike onions, you could leave them out and add another vegetable, like kale or broccoli instead. If you don’t like cranberries, you could substitute in golden raisins or another dried fruit like apricots. This recipe is completely interchangeable. The important thing is that you find a good balance of the sweet and savory.

Vegetarian Quinoa Salad Recipe with Hazelnuts, Apples, and Cranberries


1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 ½ cups vegetable stock, for quinoa
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
½ cup dried cranberries, chopped * see note
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, de-skinned and chopped
Bunch (about 5 to 6) green onions, chopped (green parts only)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, thoroughly rinsed and chopped
1 granny smith apple (any kind will work)
Large lemon, juiced


Preheat your oven to 325F and toast your hazelnuts for about 7-10 minutes. Let them cool completely.

Meanwhile, cook your quinoa. Boil the chicken stock with a pinch of salt, and add your rinsed quinoa. Turn your stove down to medium-low, cover, and let it cook for roughly 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork, and let it cool in the fridge.

Going back to the cooled, toasted hazelnuts; remove the skins. Chop the hazelnuts up, leaving them in large pieces.

Preheat a skillet with 1 tbsp of oil and soften your finely chopped onion and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Try not to brown them, 5 to 7 minutes on medium – low heat should do the trick. Set aside in a large salad bowl.

Rinse your parsley well and chop it finely followed by your dried cranberries and green onions. Add all this to the onion and celery mixture.

Core and dice the apple, put your apple chunks in the bowl with the other ingredients. Squeeze the entire lemon over the apple to season the salad and prevent the apple from turning brown.
Add your quinoa and hazelnuts to the mixture and add salt and pepper, to taste. Season with more lemon juice if you like. Mix well and cool completely. Allow the flavors to meld for 20 minutes before serving.

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