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.
Given this is only salad, you will be hard pressed to screw it up, but I do have 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 anything 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!
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)
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 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
- 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.
- 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 1 1/4 cups, are you going to save the 1/4 cup of apple for later? I think you are more likely to eat the extra 1/4 cup right away or just toss it into the salad. Hence, use the measurements and sizes (small, medium) as a guide.