Since I became a vegetarian, I've been eating a lot of quinoa. Its a complete protein, its very easy to cook, and there are endless possibilities for turning it into a delicious meal, so I never have a problem using it up if I have leftovers. I've tried wrapping it up in a tortilla with some veggies, and even eating it for breakfast layered with yogurt to make a parfait!
Quinoa also goes well with just about any kind of fruit, and this salad is proof of that! I saw the recipe on Oh She Glows, and have made it a couple of times since then. The first time, I didn't think it was anything special, but now I realize the reason I didn't love it was because I decided to use blackberries instead of blueberries. I guess blackberries are one fruit that actually don't belong in quinoa, at least for my personal taste - I just didn't like the texture of their crunchy seeds mixed with everything else in the dish.
So the next time I made it, I used a different combination of fruits that turned out really well! I kept the strawberries and blueberries from the original recipe, and also added mango (because clearly I love mango!). I thought the flavour and texture of the mango went perfectly with everything else, and also added a nice burst of colour. Next time, I might even include kiwi too for one more bright colour to go with the red, blue, and yellow!
Usually, I find that quinoa doesn't need much of a dressing, but it does soak up the flavour of any dressing that you do add. I loved the dressing in this recipe - the taste of the lime definitely came through, but it was balanced by the subtle sweetness of the maple syrup and the balsamic. I also like when a dressing is oil-free!
Here is the recipe with my changes. Aside from the addition of mango, I also added lime zest and two types of almonds. And since I was bringing this to a potluck, I used more quinoa than the original recipe, and one and a half times the amount of dressing.
Quinoa Almond Fruit Salad
Adapted from Oh She Glows
About 1 cup dry quinoa
1 pint strawberries, diced (about 2.5 cups)
6 oz blueberries
2 small mangos, diced
1/3 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/3 cup slivered almonds
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1.5 tsp balsamic vinegar
1.5 tbsp fresh lime juice
zest of one lime
pinch of kosher salt
Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Let cool and fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, chop up your fruit and almonds and set aside. (I toasted the almonds first because I prefer them that way).
Make the dressing by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl.
Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl. Add in the fruit and almonds and stir to combine. Pour the dressing on and mix well. Chill the salad in the fridge until serving time.
Makes a large amount (I'm not sure how many servings this made because I brought it to a potluck, but it fed lots of people!)