I always make too much quinoa. Always. I’m not really a measure, stick to a recipe kind of girl. I eyeball qualities and, since I’m usually feeding hungry cyclists, I err on the side of more. Too much quinoa has been a blessing in disguise, however, because it led to the invention of some pretty great and, admittedly, pretty bad cold leftover quinoa recipes. This one is the former and it’s a winner!
The heart of this salad is the creamy, protein-rich almond dressing but the crisp sweet apple keeps it fresh. It’s simple to make but best of all this salad is versatile. Some of my favourite variations include substituting the quinoa entirely for chickpeas and switching out the apple for fresh pear or beetroot (raw or roasted) or both (see below). The dressing also makes a great dip or a flavourful addition to sandwiches. If you don’t have any cooked quinoa, cook it while you prepare the dressing and the vegetables and then rinse it under cold water to cool it after it’s done cooking.
Almond and Apple Salad
- small handful of mixed greens
- 1/2 c cooked quinoa (cold)
- 1 tbs fresh mint, torn
- 1 tbs fresh parsley, torn
- 3 tbs raw almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 c cucumber, julienned
- 1/3-1/2 c chickpeas (cooked or sprouted)
- 2 tbs Almond Tahini dressing (see recipe below)
- 1/2 green apple, julienned
Almond Tahini Dressing:
- 2 tbs almond butter
- 1 tsp tahini
- 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tbs water
- crack of salt
- First, make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a small bowl or cup and stir until combined. Set aside.
- Wash and then prepare all the vegetables except the apple: julienne the cucumber, roughly chop the raw almonds, and tear the fresh herbs. Just so it doesn’t brown, leave the apple until you’re ready to plate.
- Mix the cooked quinoa with 3 tablespoons of Almond Tahini dressing. Fold in 2 tablespoons of chopped almonds, the chickpeas, cucumber and fresh herbs.
- Next, wash and julienne the green apple.
- To serve, place a small handful of greens in a bowl or on a plate. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the middle, flattening it slightly. Pile the apple matchsticks high in the centre and then garnish with the remaining chopped almonds and a sprig of fresh mint.