Green Apple & Macadamia Quinoa Salad

March 30 075 Edited Green Apple & Macadamia Quinoa Salad

Quinoa salad with green apples and macadamia nuts is now my favorite way to eat quinoa. I was not sure about an apple and a green pepper in the same salad. Add to that combo a green onion and a cucumber, and I was definitely not on board.

The fact that I like things that stray slightly from the path of normal served me well here because I made the salad anyway and was happy I did.

In addition to its taste, I was also impressed with how well it kept. My first thought upon seeing the quantity it yielded was along the lines of “holy moly, I should have saved this for a potluck.” But as luck would have it, it kept nicely for a good three days.

March 30 038 Edited Green Apple & Macadamia Quinoa Salad

Now, given this is only salad, you will be hard pressed to screw it up, but here are a few tips:

  • In addition to the lemon juice I added to the salad, I tossed my diced apple with a tablespoon of lemon juice before adding it to the salad to help prevent it from turning brown.
  • When cucumbers are involved, I tend to have more luck with shelf life when I use an English cucumber.
  • No agave? No worries. I really don’t think this salad needs it. I tasted the salad before I added agave, and I can’t really say it was missing. I did go ahead and add it only because I had a stray tablespoon or two in my cupboard that I wanted to use up. Feel free to use honey as a substitute.
  • For heat, add a serrano chile (as suggested by the original recipe) or, in keeping with the green theme, mince a jalapeno and toss it in there.
  • If desired, serve with yogurt or sprinkle some Aleppo pepper flakes over the top.
  • Enjoy!

March 30 034 Edited Green Apple & Macadamia Quinoa Salad

Green Apple and Macadamia Quinoa Salad
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 small English cucumber, diced (3/4 cup)
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced (1/2 cup)
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery (1/4 cup)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions, which is probably to bring one cup of quinoa to boil with two cups of water and a dash of salt before covering, reducing heat, and allowing to simmer for 10-15 minutes before the water is absorbed and white threads appear around the quinoa.
  2. When the quinoa is cool, stir it together in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. I started with the mainstays (apple, cucumber, pepper, etc.) then added the dressing (lemon juice, garlic, agave nectar) once mixed.
I included the original measurements with this recipe, i.e. where I call for one medium apple the recipe calls for 1 cup of diced green apple. Let’s be honest; if your apple happens to yield 1¼ cups, are you going to save the ¼ cup of apple for later? I think you are more likely to eat the extra ¼ cup right away or just toss it into the salad. Hence, use the measurements and sizes (small, medium) as a guide.


Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

11412321336 265bdcf6ba z Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is not my favorite thing. It is a bit too bland yet at a bit too sweet at the same time. Buttery, yes. Nutty, not quite. Delicious? The jury is still out.

I really want to like it. I just can’t  get on board with it quite as much as I would like. It is for precisely this reason I was excited to join in on the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash group.

If I forced myself to cook with it, I knew I would find at least one way besides butternut squash risotto to enjoy it.

And here that way is. Quinoa stuffed butternut squash.

11412451303 43003146bb z Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

It must be the quinoa that soaks up all that butternut squash sweetness. The flavor is still there, but it is not overpowering, so the red pepper and sage are able to shine through. In an effort of full disclosure, the cheese melted on top also helps the whole dish quite a bit. Melted cheese improving a recipe probably goes without saying…

Speaking of cheese, I think these ingredients would also make for a great pizza. Butternut squash, red pepper rings, and maybe some caramelized onions atop a sauce I’m not quite sure of yet. Perhaps an Alfredo-type sauce I once used in a butternut squash lasagna. Does anyone want to make this for me?

As always, look below for links* to even more delicious squash dishes created by the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash group. Until next week, enjoy!
11412320966 f049beca62 z Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

4.0 from 1 reviews

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (uncooked) quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
  • cheese of your choice for sprinkling; Gruyere is recommended
  1. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
  2. Place the squash cut-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. While the squash bakes, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the red pepper and green onions until softened, about five minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, quinoa, and sage and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for five additional minutes.
  7. When the baked squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out most of the pulp and place in a bowl. Leave about ¼ inch of squash along the shell to keep it intact enough to hold the filling.
  8. Mash the removed pulp with a fork, then stir in the cooked quinoa and red pepper mixture.
  9. Stuff all of this back into the two butternut squash shells and sprinkle with as much cheese as you would like.
  10. Return the now stuffed and cheese covered shells to the oven and broil for just a few minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

*If you are reading this on the home page, you will have to click into the post via the title to see the links.

Secret Recipe: Spinach Bacon Mushroom Quinoa

11272130154 7d73d4ae3e z Secret Recipe: Spinach Bacon Mushroom Quinoa

In December, I am all about healthy, nutritious foods. Given how health conscious I am this time of year, when I found a recipe with protein powerhouse quinoa and vitamin-rich spinach, I knew I had to make it.

I am also telling outright lies.

In reality, I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed close to three dozen cookies and half a dozen beers over the course of the past week. A healthy dose of chips and wine was also in the mix. This is why, despite the Buckeye Brownies and countless other sweets on Edesia’s Notebook, I opted for the wholesome quinoa.

11272177813 ab10d2990e z Secret Recipe: Spinach Bacon Mushroom Quinoa

My December Secret Recipe Club match, Edesia’s Notebook is written by Lesa who gets bored with the same dishes, no matter how good they are. She also prefers simple recipes that are easy to pull together for a weeknight dinner. I have perused her blog quite a bit since joining SRC earlier this year, and there really is something for everyone on there.

I modified the Turkey Spinach Bacon Quinoa recipe she shared a few weeks ago by leaving out the turkey, adding some mushrooms and swapping the stock. It lends itself to myriad variations so you can make your own swaps to use up what you like or have on hand. In my case, this was fresh instead of frozen spinach. Find a way to make it your own. Enjoy!

11272105726 9011789a9e z Secret Recipe: Spinach Bacon Mushroom Quinoa

5.0 from 1 reviews

Bacon Spinach Mushroom Quinoa
Serves: 4
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry or 1 cup fresh spinach
  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet (cast iron works well) over medium heat. Remove when fully cooked and crumble when cool.
  2. Add the onion and mushrooms to the skillet with the bacon grease and cook until they begins to soften, about five minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and quinoa and fry until the quinoa is well toasted, about five more minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock. Reduce heat to low-med, and cover to simmer.
  5. After 10 minutes, add the spinach.
  6. Continue to simmer until the liquid is absorbed.