Apples and walnuts pair nicely together and here is one more way to enjoy this tasty and healthy duo. Toasting the walnuts really brings a nice, toasty flavor to this simple recipe. The fresh, crispness of the apples works well with the toasted walnuts and the light flavor of the quinoa.
I love Gala apples in this salad, but you can use your favorite type of apple. If you don’t have walnuts on hand, pecans also work well in this gluten-free quinoa recipe.
This easy, healthy quinoa salad makes a great side dish. It’s also perfect for picnics or potlucks or a quick afternoon snack. Quinoa is a good source of protein and when you mix it with the health benefits of walnuts and the slightly sweet, crisp texture of the apple it provides a healthy, satisfying snack that will help keep you going through the day.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup gluten-free vegetable broth*
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed if necessary
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, or scallions, chopped
- 1 large apple, cored and diced (I like Gala for this salad)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Bring water, vegetable broth*, quinoa and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and maintain a simmer; cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar and chives (or scallions) in a large bowl. Add apples and toss to coat.
Once quinoa has cooled, fluff it with a fork and add it to the apple mixture. Stir well to combine.
Transfer to the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes or serve at room temperature. Serve topped with toasted, chopped walnuts. Optionally you can stir the walnuts into the salad before serving, but they will get soft as the salad sits.
*You can substitute water for vegetable broth, but you may want to increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon if you don’t use broth.
To toast chopped nuts, place them in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Or you can bake them in a toaster or regular oven on 325 for about 8 minutes or until fragrant. Watch them closely as they can burn easily.
Quinoa naturally has a bitter coating that helps detract insects. Packaged quinoa is usually rinsed, but check the package to make sure. Otherwise it will need to be rinsed before cooking to remove this bitter coating.