For the salad:
- 3 cups cooked, cooled quinoa
- 1–2 apples, cored and diced
- 2–3 stalks celery, diced
- 1–2c loosely packed spinach leaves, torn
- 1/2c dried cranberries or dried cherries
- 1/2c toasted walnuts or pecans
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the dressing:
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
- 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Prepare the quinoa. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Add rinsed quinoa and 3 cups of water to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let steam 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, toss quinoa, apples, celery, spinach leaves, cranberries, walnuts, and cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over quinoa salad mixture and toss to coat. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
- Toss salad with dressing.
Try adding this! This is a really flexible salad, so you can absolutely stir in some cooked chicken or crumbled bacon (obviously not vegan/vegetarian), a drained and rinsed can of white beans, or even a little cheese if you like. (Before we went dairy free, I loved using a little cotija or feta cheese.)
How to store it… If you’re making this ahead of time, it’ll keep fully assembled for about 3-4 days. The apples and spinach will start to lose a little texture after that. To prevent this, you can make them mason jar style, where you pour dressing into the bottom of the jar, then the apples/celery, quinoa, greens, cranberries, and nuts.
Love that dressing. I love the dressing in this salad. It’s got so much flavor and really complements the other flavors of the salad. This is just enough dressing to coat the salad without being soggy. If you like more dressing, feel free to double the dressing!