A quinoa salad with a colorful assortment of healthy ingredients in a curry infused Greek Yogurt dressing.
Curried Cranberry Cashew Quinoa with Carrots and Corn – bet you can’t say that ten times fast! I wasn’t going for alliteration when I developed this recipe. My only goal was to create a curried quinoa salad, with an herbed Greek yogurt dressing, to bring to a birthday lunch I’ll be attending tomorrow. But, when I thought about the odd hue that curry can sometimes give to food, I decided the dish needed some pleasing flecks of color so I added cranberries (red), carrots (orange), and corn (yellow). I also knew I wanted some type of a nut in this dish, and cashews were a natural choice since they are often used in curry recipes. So, that’s how this recipe ended up with such a catchy title. I hope the birthday girl likes curry!
Root vegetables can be tough to eat unless they’re cooked and carrots are no exception. That’s why it’s important to shred/grate them as thinly as possible for this dish. Grating the carrots super fine will not only make them easier to eat but will make them taste sweeter too. How? Anytime a carrot is cut, its cells are ruptured and release sugars. The more a carrot is cut up, the sweeter it will taste. A diced carrot will taste sweeter than a sliced one, but a grated carrot will taste even sweeter because grating ruptures more cells. Who knew! If you want to taste this little bit of food science in action try Bistro Carrot Salad.
Although quinoa comes in many colors, I recommend using white quinoa for Curried Cranberry Cashew Quinoa. It’s milder than other darker colored quinoas and has a soft texture that readily absorbs the other flavors in this dish.
If you haven’t jumped on the quinoa bandwagon yet, now is a good time and Curried Cranberry Cashew Quinoa is a great dish to start with. Quinoa is no longer a trendy food – it’s here to stay and is a fantastic, healthy substitute for white rice and potatoes. It’s gluten-free, high in protein and fiber, and a good source of iron. It’s also one of the few plant foods considered to be a complete protein, meaning that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body can’t produce on its own. This fact alone is reason enough to eat quinoa on a regular basis!
- 1½ cups white quinoa
- 2¼ cups chicken or vegetable stock (see notes)
- ½ cup/2½ ounces frozen corn
- ½ cup/2½ ounces frozen peas
- ¼ cup/57g Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup minced fresh dill
- 1 cup finely shredded (or grated) carrots
- ½ cup/2 ounces dried cranberries
- ½ cup/2½ ounces roasted unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch of scallions (or 3 large scallions), thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- Rinse and drain quinoa (see notes). Transfer to a 3-quart pot, add the chicken stock, and cover with lid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes with the lid on. Fluff with a fork. Add the corn and peas and stir. Cover the pot with lid while you make the dressing.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the Greek yogurt, oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper until smooth. Dump in the quinoa mixture. Add the dill, carrots, cranberries, cashews and scallions. Mix thoroughly and serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Serves 8 as a side portion or 10 as a main dish/entree.
Some brands of quinoa don't requiring rinsing. Read the package to see if rinsing is recommended.
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