Marinate this killer quinoa salad in a simple sweet-and-sour dressing overnight for crave-worthy bento box lunches, or let it steal the spotlight at your next family barbecue.
1 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries (TIP: Look for unsweetened or naturally sweetened varieties.)
1 cup raw unsalted chopped pecans
4 to 5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp sea salt, plus additional to taste
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let cool completely.
Prepare dressing: In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and maple syrup.
Add 3/4 cup dressing to quinoa. Stir in cranberries, pecans, scallions and salt. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature; just before serving, stir in remaining 1/4 cup dressing and season with salt.
An honorary mention in our AHA collaboration, this heart-healthy southwest quinoa salad comes from Chef Jean Hertzman, PhD, CCE, assistant professor of food and beverage management at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV.