Maple Balsamic Quinoa Salad

Many Americans are trying to reduce their risks of long-term health issues by trying to manage their body mass index (BMI) by increasing their daily exercise, reducing their stress, and improve and manage their food choices.  Some people choose to reduce the amount of red meat and increase vegetable and complex carb intake.  Quinoa is a high protein, complex carb choice that can easily absorb a variety of flavors to create a gluten-free, meatless meal.  I recently made this recipe from Clean Eating Magazine that was a hit with my whole family.  I used it for lunch as a side dish for the kids and I used as a topper for my salad.


Maple Balsamic Quinoa Salad:

-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 or apricots (look for unsweetened or naturally sweetened varieties)

-1 cup raw unsalted chopped pecans

-4-5 scallions, thinly sliced

-1 tsp. sea salt, plus additional to taste


1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Let cool completely.

2. Prepare dressing in a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar & maple syrup.

3. Add ¾ 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 ¼ cup dressing and season to taste with salt.

Nutrients per serving (1 cup):

Calories– 325

Total Fat- 12g

Carbs– 49g

Fiber– 5g

Sugar– 20g

Sodium– 247mg

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4 Responses to "Maple Balsamic Quinoa Salad"

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  1. Tammy Eakes

    May 6, 2013 at 11:28 am

    This looks fabulous. I can’t wait to try it. I read your “About me”. I completely agree with your distaste for the word diet. I try not to use that word on my site It just conjures up so many thoughts of deprivation. I can go months without sugar but the minute I think of being on a “diet” I start craving a bucket of chocolate!
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Paula

      May 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      You’re so right! The moment a person decides that can’t have something, they want it that much more.

      • Paula

        May 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

        As my diet has gotten cleaner over the years, I find that if I eat those ‘bad-for-you’ foods like onion rings or beef chili, my stomach is unhappy for hours.
        Now dark chocolate…THAT’S another story. So I eat small portions and savor the flavor (and the endorphins).
        Thanks for the feedback and visit soon. BTW, you can have the blogs sent directly to your e-mail account with the box on the side panel of the blogs.

    • Paula

      May 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Great Minds Think Alike!
      Food should be healthy to fuel your body, buut it should also be enjoyed, not eaten without reverence if possible and ‘tasted’ so kick up the flavor!
      Hope you return often and leave comments, I love that.

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