Almond Quinoa Fruit Salad

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This is a light, refreshing, flavorful meal and it is fantastic for the spring and summer months. I made this recipe for the first time for Easter dinner. I was put in charge of a side, that was the only information I got. My family and I can be very organized when it comes to getting together, but the organization doesn’t usually kick in until the last minute. I have two sisters, one brother, and we were all designated to bring a part of the meal. My brother had dessert, my sister had the main course because she was hosting, my parents had a side and another part of the main course (ham), leaving my other sister, Ruby and I. We were the two who should have coordinated the most because we both had sides and both try to choose health options. Many people may not find this as fun as I do, but I love cooking for my family because I have two vegans in the family, a lactose intolerant, one has high- blood pressure, and it’s safe to say everyone loves a meal that’s low fat. Through alternative baking and trial and error, I find the best tasting recipes that everyone in my family can enjoy regardless of any food restrictions. I enjoy this so much because it’s just like I am helping my clients, expect 4 or 5 at the same time and they are all a bit more close minded regarding food choices, so I really have to sell it sometimes!

Back to the topic, by limiting my responsibility to only one dish I was stress free. Typically, I am use to making 3 or more dishes, so I knew this Easter meal would be a breeze. Instead of brain storming for ideas, communicating with my siblings about who’s bringing what, or grocery shopping, I definitely waited till the last minute to figure out everything. Still, I wasn’t worried about it and I was right because this recipe can easily be whipped up in no time and still turn out gourmet.

Almond Quinoa Fruit Salad 

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

Serves:8-12

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 lb strawberries
  • 1 lb kiwi
  • 1 lb blackberries
  • 2 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp organic raw honey
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • pinch of pink himalayan salt

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa with a 1:2 uncooked quinoa to liquid ratio. Bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once it has reached a boil, reduce heat to low. Add thyme into saucepan to add flavor at this time. Cover and simmer until all water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender. Typically takes 15-20 minutes for 1 cup quinoa to cook, since we are only cooking 1/2 the size boiling time will be lowered. Adjust time accordingly depending on the amount cooked (1/2 cup= 10 minutes). Turn heat off and fluff with a fork, let cool.

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 2.While quinoa is cooking, chop all the organic strawberries, blackberries, kiwis, and spinach. For the almonds, I bought whole, raw because they are priced cheaper for whole, opposed to blanched or crushed. I wanted crushed almonds for this recipe, so I placed whole nuts in a plastic bag and took a hammer to the bag outside on my concrete sidewalk. This method crushes the almonds better than anything else and you avoid denting and breaking a counter top inside your home. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl to serve.

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3. For the dressing, mix the balsamic, honey, lemon juice, and himalayan salt until well blended. Pour dressing over the fruit salad and mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

This recipe is vegan friendly, naturally gluten free, dairy-free, and organic.

I think we all need to find ways to create healthy nourishing meals that still get us excited to eat, especially around holidays. It’s easy to use special occasions, family get togethers, and holidays as “cheat days”, however, I don’t believe in that. I think to say you are having a cheat day implies you are doing something wrong and eating 1 cupcake or a serving of potato salad won’t kill you, just like eating one salad won’t make you skinny. It’s how and what we eat consistently that forms habits as healthy or unhealthy.  The trick is to learn how to create deliciousness out of nutrient dense foods that can help keep you on a healthy road and coming back for more. This Almond Quinoa Fruit Salad with the honey balsamic dressing hit the spot perfectly. A definite winner recipe that leaves every body feeling full, satisfied, and asking for leftovers to take to work the next day.   IMG_7407

Live my Nutrition Vision and enjoy this dish this summer!

Calories: 103; Total Fat: 3.1 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 7 mg; Potassium: 168.7 mg; Total Carbs: 18.6 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g; Protein: 2.5 g; Calcium: 16.1%

 

 

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