Fall seems to have hit nearly everywhere (there are pumpkin spice recipes popping up all over the place!), but here in Paris we are enjoying warm sunny days while they last. Instead of craving spiced baked goods, I've been wanting to keep eating fresh, bright foods while I can.
This quinoa salad is just delicious - I find myself craving it all. the. time. It is so satisfying thanks to healthy fats from avocado and pistachios, and keeps you full with protein-packed quinoa. It is brightly flavored thanks to lemon juice, and a tiny bit sweet from plumped raisins. It gives you loads of fiber (so important for gut health!), and fits in a good dose of greens. I'm pretty sure you will get hooked on it too!
This dish is also a great option for those of us living a super busy life (and who isn't?) - you can cook the quinoa, toast the nuts, soak the raisins and prep the dressing in about 30 minutes. You can put it all together to be ready for the week - just add the arugula whenever you are ready to eat so it doesn't get soggy.
Herbed Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pistachios and Plumped Raisins
Created by: Stephanie Rink, MS, RD, LDN
1 1/2 cups of quinoa (or about 3 cups cooked)
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup golden raisins (regular raisins work great as well!)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 avocado, sliced or chopped
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil, or to taste
3 cups arugula
Salt/pepper to taste
Cook the quinoa: rinse the quinoa and put into a medium pot with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then decrease heat to low and let simmer for about 25 minutes or until quinoa is tender and cooked through. If there is excess liquid remaining, strain the quinoa.
Toast the pistachios: preheat oven to 400ºF, and spread pistachios on a baking sheet. Toast for about 10-15 minutes, until toasted and golden.
Soak the raisins: in a small bowl, pour in 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar and dilute with 1/2 cup of water. Add in 1/2 cup of raisins, and soak for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Drain excess liquids before using.
In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, toasted pistachios, raisins, avocado, basil, and mint. Squeeze juice of 1 whole lemon over the mixture, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine, and taste for seasoning. This combination can be kept for up to 7 days. When ready to serve, add arugula and mix well to combine.
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