Introduction:

Quinoa and Berry Salad is a vibrant and nutritious dish that combines the earthy goodness of quinoa with the sweet and tangy flavors of fresh berries. This delightful salad is not only visually appealing but also packs a punch in terms of taste and health benefits. The combination of fluffy quinoa, juicy berries, and a zesty dressing creates a perfect balance of textures and flavors. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing side dish, a light lunch, or a potluck contribution, this Quinoa and Berry Salad is sure to impress. Plus, it’s easy to prepare, making it a convenient choice for busy days.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (toasted for extra crunch)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional for added creaminess)

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Cook the Quinoa:

a. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water.

b. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

c. Add the rinsed quinoa to the boiling water and reduce the heat to low.

d. Cover the saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the water is absorbed.

e. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Then, fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.

2. Prepare the Dressing:

a. In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), and Dijon mustard until well combined.

b. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

3. Assemble the Salad:

a. In a large salad bowl, combine the cooked and cooled quinoa, mixed berries, baby spinach, chopped mint leaves, and toasted sliced almonds.

b. If desired, sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top of the salad for added creaminess.

c. Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad ingredients.

4. Toss and Serve:

a. Gently toss all the salad components until they are evenly coated with the dressing.

b. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, by adding more salt and pepper or a drizzle of honey.

c. Serve immediately as a refreshing main course or side dish.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving Size: 1/4 of recipeCalories: 335 kcal
Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 4mgSodium: 104mg
Total Carbohydrates: 49gDietary Fiber: 7g
Sugars: 12gProtein: 9g

Note: Nutrition facts are approximate and may vary depending on ingredient brands and serving sizes.

Conclusion

Quinoa and Berry Salad is a delightful blend of flavors, textures, and colors that make it stand out as a truly unique and delicious dish. With the earthy quinoa, sweet and juicy berries, and a zesty dressing, each bite is a burst of freshness and satisfaction. Whether you’re a fan of salads or looking for a healthier meal option, this recipe is a perfect choice. It’s not only easy to prepare but also provides a nutritional boost with its rich blend of antioxidants, fiber, and essential nutrients. So, next time you want to impress your guests or enjoy a nutritious meal, give this Quinoa and Berry Salad a try – it’s a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone asking for seconds!