Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

 Pomegranate's are such an interesting fruit to me and if they were easier to peel I might eat more of them, but that's a post for a different day.

At our house, the hubs and I are the only ones who enjoy this fruit.  I love how the kernels burst in your mouth and are tangy but sweet.

Not to mention any time I see a pomegranate or even smell one I am always reminded of my sister Jennifer.  I remember her begging my mom to buy her pomegranates when they were season and her sitting for hours at the table peeling then in  bowls of water.  And to this day she still loves them, right Jenny?

This salad was a very light, fresh side dish.  Quinoa is definitely an acquired taste for me and really just a vehicle for everything else in the salad.  Also there are so many ways to make quinoa, so don't be afraid to try different versions since they will all taste quite different.  Plus quinoa is very healthy and a great alternative to your regular pasta dishes.

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

(click here for printable version)


1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 medium red onion, minced
1/4 cup fresh minced cilantro or parsley
1 cup pomegranate arils
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked quinoa (this is a great tutorial on how to cook it)
2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1-2 avocados, cut into small cubes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 medium orange)
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 medium juicy lemon)
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 medium juicy lime)
2-3 tsp. sugar, honey, agave (add it to taste)
2 tbsp. pure olive oil
1/2 heaping tsp. kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 clove minced garlic

1.  Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.

2.  Combine diced cucumber, minced onion, chopped cilantro, pomegranate seeds, and drained and rinsed beans in a large salad bowl. Toss with quinoa. Drizzle the dressing over the mixture and toss to combine, then chill until ready to serve. Before serving, add diced avocado and eat immediately.

Makes 10-12 side dish servings

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