Quinoa and Winter Fruit Salad with Arugula

ImageA couple weeks ago, I was stuck in a lunch rut. Since starting my 9-5 desk job I’ve tried to keep my lunches as interesting and varied as possible, since, sadly, unless there’s a holiday potluck or it’s time for the monthly birthday party, I can pretty much guarantee lunch is the most exciting part of my day. I’d been through a pretty lengthy hummus-and-veggies stage, a salami sandwich phase, a few failed attempts at a salad phase (it just never tastes as good as I think it will), a pretty delightful peanut butter and jelly phase, and a random snacks all day phase.

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Needless to say I needed to change my game a bit. I like the idea of salad, but it was just never filling enough to make the cut, even if I did add tons of vegetables and beans. So I thought if I made the salad out of something hearty and filling and just happened to add a few greens to it, that might be just the thing that could get me out of my lunch rut.

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So I did a little poking around, knowing I wanted to use quinoa because not only is it a complete protein, it’s totally delicious. I found this winter fruit salad, changed a couple things when I couldn’t find the ingredients, and it totally did the trick! I think I’ve pulled myself out of my lunch rut. For now at least. I’ve made two other quinoa salads after this one, so we’ll see how long this phase lasts.

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Quinoa is a great salad base. It’s healthy but also has a great nutty flavor. This one is packed with winter fruits. I added black beans to make this salad even more hearty, and the arugula gives it a nice spicy kick.

Quinoa and Winter Fruit Salad with Arugula

Adapted from foodandwine.com

4-6 servings

1 1/3 cups quinoa (about 1/2 pound)

1 2/3 cups water

1 tangerine, segmented, seeded, and chopped

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup pure olive oil

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 bag arugula

Rinse the quinoa for 2-3 minutes with cold water in a mesh strainer. This will take away the bitterness. Place the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, and simmer until the water is nearly all absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let steam for 5 minutes. Place the quinoa in a large bowl and let cool completely.

In a small bowl, add the tangerine, cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the pear, cucumber, and black beans to the cooled quinoa and toss. Add the dressing and toss until absorbed. If you’ll be serving/eating all the salad at the same time, add in the arugula and toss. If you want to eat it over a few days, only sever with as much arugula as you need, and refrigerate the leftover quinoa separate from the arugula.

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2 Comments on “Quinoa and Winter Fruit Salad with Arugula”

  1. Ani says:

    I need to start adding fruit to my quinoa!


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