Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Salad

I had gone to Fry's yesterday knowing that I wanted to create a new quinoa recipe, since I hadn't had it in awhile, so I kind of just picked up some things that I thought would make a delicious dish.

I love quinoa! It's a great side dish to any kind of meat entree, or it serves as a nice small meal by itself. It's loaded with fiber, protein, magnesium, iron, lysine (which helps repair your muscle tissue), and riboflavin (ENERGY!!!). It's a smart substitute for sides like rice or pasta.

So this is what I had in mind when I set out to start: quinoa, walnuts, unsalted vegetable broth, cranberries, chives, garlic, pepper, cayenne pepper, chopped onions and a lemon.

 I was a little irritated that Fry's only had one option of quinoa, which was a small quick make bag that only held about 3/4 cup quinoa, but that was what I had to work with so I grabbed it and moved on.

Once I started the stove and got ready to pour, though, I realized it was also a "garden vegetable" flavor. I don't want this! I like to put my own seasonings in....it gives me a sense of ownership or something else weird like that. Anyway I checked out the ingredients nervously....pre-flavored foods can have chemicals and additives that are not good for you.

The ingredients actually looked OK; there wasn't anything on there that I couldn't pronounce or didn't know what it was so I went ahead and used it. I did, however, not add in extra garlic, onion, and pepper since those seasonings were already in the package.

So here's what I ended up with!


1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup quinoa
1/3 cup cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
A few shakes of chives and cayenne pepper
(If you get non seasoned quinoa, you can add garlic, pepper, and any onion you like)

So! I put the quinoa and vegetable broth in a pot on the stove, let it come to a boil, then brought it down to a simmer and covered. I measured my other ingredients

 And while the quinoa cooked I broke up my walnuts into smaller pieces and added seasonings while watching Extreme Couponing :)

After about 15 minutes I turned off the stove and poured the finished quinoa on top of the dry ingredients.
 I mixed everything up, cut the lemon, squeezed the juice, gave it one last mix and ended up with a delicious side dish for lunch.

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