It’s starting to warm up, fingers crossed the warm spring days are finally here to stay, and I’m craving everything fresh! Could be the warmer weather or it could be this quarantine and all the bread making and baking we’re doing. I wanted to share another simple meal working with what we have on hand now, and what you might have in your kitchen, that’s a twists on what use to be staples in our house. Crunchy Cran-Apple Quinoa Salads are usually a go-to lunch or a quick weeknight meal but right now make a perfect meal anytime and are easily adaptable using what you have in your kitchen!
I’m about 2 minutes away from giving up on ordering groceries online! I’m not sure how things are where you are but it’s been a struggle. Usually ordering a week out, having many things sold out, substitutions the I can’t seem to wrap my head around how I got, and produce lately… it’s pretty much an all or nothing. We either get lots of produce that all has to be used up right when it arrives or it goes bad, or it isn’t ripe and we wait and it just goes bad. Getting already moldy berries or pineapple, I cannot understand?! Oh and then there are avocados which I won’t even talk about. Haha. I’m so grateful for having food, don’t get me wrong, but eating healthy and like we did before isn’t happening. Ok rant over!
Things are getting much better! In the last week we’ve gotten 90% of the produce I’ve ordered which has led to lots of berries, peppers, zucchini, spinach, greens, and other things we weren’t able to get for a few weeks.
I had found salad mixes to be a great way to get a mix of produce so I was ordering one of my favorites, Sweet Kale Salad Mix. There are a few different versions but usually a mix of chopped kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage or radicchio. One way to stretch that salad mix out and add nutrition is turn it into a grain bowl, or this Crunchy Cran-Apple Quinoa Salad!
Using as many staples as we have in the house and adding as many anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense foods as possible! Trust me it isn’t as hard as it might seem. If you don’t have things I’ll add substitutions here and in the recipe notes.
I used my favorite homemade Turmeric Salad Dressing I use in my other Anti-Inflammatory Buddha Bowls and Salad. Made with extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil), apple cider vinegar, turmeric, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Turmeric is one of the hottest and trendiest superfoods and for good reason. It’s a spice that has been long known for it’s healing powers and supporting vitality. It supports a healthy immune system fighting oxidative stress in the body. High in curcumin, a compound that fights free radicals and helps reduce inflammation.
Garlic has been used for centuries for medicinal and anti- inflammatory properties to help the immune system.
Olive oil is also loaded with powerful antioxidants and is been noted to fight inflammation and help protect your blood cholesterol from oxidation. It’s one of my favorite healthy fats.
Ginger, gingerroot, is among the healthiest spices on the planet. Aiding in digestion, reducing nausea, help fight the flu and common cold, among countless other things. Anti-inflammatory, helping with muscle soreness and pain, and even help reduce cholesterol, reduce heart disease, and may even reduce chances at cancer. The research on ginger is crazy!
Kale is an incredibly effective anti-inflammatory food, potentially preventing and even reversing these illnesses. Beets are a source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
Brussel Sprouts have vitamin K, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Aside from that they also contain folate, manganese, vitamin B6, fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, and so much more.
Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals. It is also one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids.
IF you don’t have quinoa you can use another grain of choice.
Apples contains anthocyanins, antioxidants that reduce inflammatory responses as I mentioned. Plus there is the age old saying an apple a day!
IF you don’t have apples use blueberries!
Cranberries, and blueberries, I think we all know are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids. These berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C.
Pecans, or pumpkin seeds, are both nutrient dense and full of healthy fats and minerals.
Simple and healthy this Crunchy Cran-Apple Quinoa Salad hits the spot and gives your body much needed nutrition.
Like I said, and if you’ve been following me on Instagram, there is a lot of bread being baked in our house and lots of comfort foods. When possible though I try to add nutrient dense meals like this.
With many people home right now I hope you consider linking up Deborah and me below or sharing what’s happening in your kitchen for Meatless Monday in the comments.
|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Cook Time||30 minutes|
main dish servings, 6 smaller servings
- 2-3 c cooked quinoa (1 of quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked)
- 1/3-1/2 c dried cranberries
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped optional
- 1/3-1/2 c chopped pecans, or if you are using a salad mix see notes*
- 12-24 oz Sweet Kale Salad Mix, see notes for alternatives*
- 1/3 c avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Blend, mix, all the Turmeric Dressing ingredients together until smooth. Set aside, if not making your bowl right away place in the refrigerator until you are ready to prep the bowls.
- Cook quinoa if you haven't already. You can use warm or cold quinoa in this salad.
- Toss Sweet Kale Mix, or kale and other greens, and celery with Turmeric Dressing (shake before adding to greens if it's been in the refrigerator or sitting).
- Add quinoa to bowls and top with dressed greens, chopped apple, dried cranberries, pecans or pumpkin seeds,
- Alternatively you can toss everything together and top with dressing or serve dressing on the side.
Another kale or cabbage salad mix can be used in place of the Sweet Kale Salad Mix or you can make your own using a combination of chopped kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and optional cabbage and or radicchio.
If you are using a salad mix that comes with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds you can use that in place of the dried cranberries and chopped pecans.
Celery is optional. Omit if you don't have it or feel free to add shredded carrots.
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The ordering online got too frustrating for me as well. Headed to the store in person today w my gloves and mask. I love the cranberry and apple combo. Looks like an easy lunch idea for this week