Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cucumber Quinoa Fruit Salad

Did the name of this recipe make you do a double take?  Cucumber and quinoa in a fruit salad?  Whaaa--?!?

No, seriously, this is the best thing that's happened to me since...well, since the last time I tried an amazingly delicious recipe and was so glad I'd branched out. (Probably another quinoa recipe...hmmm...)

The base is quinoa to give you some protein and a dose of grains for the day.  The cucumber adds crunch, the mango adds sweet, and the berries add the tart.  I love the different textures in this salad, along with the amazing colours.  It's not only delicious, it's pretty, too!


And to top it all off, you drizzle it with a lemon basil dressing.  No kidding.

Just trust me.  You won't regret it.

NOTE: This recipe made just enough for me to have as my entire lunch.  If you're using it as a side dish, it would probably serve two.

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup mango, cubed
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and cubed
1/8-1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
10 basil leaves, chopped finely (or 2 tsp dried basil)

Place quinoa and water in a medium skillet and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the water has been absorbed. Fluff with fork and cool to room temperature.

Combine blueberries, mango, cucumber, and cranberries in a bowl.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, basil, salt, and pepper (I just put it all in a clean baby food jar and shook it).  If you're using fresh basil, add it to the dressing just before serving or it will, according to the original poster of this recipe, go black.  If using dried basil, you can combine it with the above ingredients immediately.

Just before serving, add the quinoa to the prepared cucumber and fruit.  Pour dressing over it all and mix carefully.  Serve immediately to avoid sogginess.

Do you have a surprising salad combo you love?

NOTE: The original recipe is posted at  I altered the amounts of a few ingredients from her version, and served all the dressing at once (she says serve half and half on the side), but other than that it is her recipe.

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