I’ve been really into streamlining my meal prep these days. I find that when I do a little bit of planning ahead of time I can eat well with little effort. Sometimes that means making a big pot of steel cut oats that I can top any way I please throughout the week. Sometimes that means making a yummy dip I can serve with veggies to add to a quick lunch or for a snack. And sometimes that means making a pot of soup or a big batch of salad that I can use for lunches throughout the week.
Quinoa salads are great for this sort of thing. They’re gluten free, don’t take long to prepare, and keep well for several days at a time. If you’re thinking “well, that’s all fine and good Emily, but I saw the words ‘curry’ and ‘maple’ in that title and that sounds a little crazy” I’ll ask you to hang on a minute and work with me here.
I like curry, but it’s one of those things that I kind of need to gear up to eat. Not so here, since there’s just a little bit used in the recipe. The sweetness of the maple and the punch of the dijon all blend together really well here. As for the rest of the toppings, you can change things up as much as you like. Have some grilled chicken or a little chicken apple sausage leftover? Toss it in! Want to switch up the kind of nuts or dried fruit? No problem.
This packs really well for lunch and works just as well as a side dish. Like I said, it goes really well with chicken and apple sausage or cooked chicken, but salmon is also a nice pairing. Flexibility and ease are what we’re all about here, folks.
And, just in case this particular quinoa salad isn’t your taste, here are a few other recipes to try. Happy lunching friends!Print
If you’re making this for lunches, leave the nuts out and pack them separately. Sprinkle them on right before serving to help them keep their crunch.
For the salad:
- 1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup baby spinach or kale, torn or thinly sliced
- 1/4–1/3 cup currants, raisins, or dried cranberries
- 1 apple, core removed and finely diced
- 1/4–1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
- optional: 1/2c (or more) grapes, halved
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2–1 tsp curry powder (yellow)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- First, prepare the quinoa. Add rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water to a saucepan and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil over median-high heat. Boil 5 minutes, then turn off the heat (leave the pan on the hot burner) to steam for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
- While quinoa is cooking, chop your fruits and vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients. Start with 1/4c olive oil, 1 1/2 Tbsp dijon, 1 1/2 Tbsp syrup, 1/2 tsp curry powder. Taste and add additional dijon, syrup, or curry powder as desired.
- When quinoa is cooked and cooled slightly, stir in dressing, spinach, apples, and currants. Sprinkle nuts on right before serving.