Written on February 27, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Kristin Porter
Alright, so there’s nearly a foot of snow on the ground, but that isn’t stopping me from dreaming about warmer weather ahead, specifically, spring break!
In just a few week’s time folks from all over the country will be shedding their hats and mittens for shorts and flip flops, and flocking towards warmer weather, wherever that may be. Me? I’m heading to Charleston, South Carolina at the end of March with my husband for a week of fun, sun, and what else – lots of southern food!
Anyways, after months of enjoying hearty, homestyle suppers, I’m on the lookout for lighter, yet flavorful meals that will fill me up, but ensure I’ll be able to fit into the tank tops and sun dresses I’ll be packing for my trip, like Honey-Soaked Quinoa Salad with Grapes, and Cashews.
This hearty salad is as flavorful as it is colorful with the additions of crisp grapes, spicy red onion, sweet dried apricots, and creamy cashews, tossed with hearty quinoa, baby spinach, and a zingy, gingery dressing. Quinoa and cashews are high in protein, so this salad filled me right up, but it’d also be great topped with a chicken breast marinated in some of the dressing and then grilled. Either way – you can’t go wrong.
Start by making that gingery dressing I mentioned, which combines fresh ginger with garlic, honey, vinegar, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Pour all the ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid then shake to combine.
Next cook up some quinoa then add to a bowl with with dried cashews and dried apricots. Tip: make sure to rinse your quinoa very, very well in a fine mesh sieve under cold running water before cooking, even if the package says “pre-washed”. Quinoa has a naturally bitter coating called saponin which will throw the taste of the dish off if it isn’t properly rinsed off before cooking.
Next add halved red grapes and thinly sliced red onion.
Finally, add vitamin-rich baby spinach on top then toss everything together with half the dressing.
Plate up, then dig in!
Fresh and flavorful, you will absolutely love this light, figure-friendly salad. The mixture of textures and flavors kept my mouth guessing with every bite. Fun, and delicious to eat!