Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Fruit salad is one of those things that is left open to many interpretations.  You have your classic fruit cocktail, you know...the ones in the little cups with the cherries, pears, pineapples and so on?  Yes, those are the fruit salads that everyone remembers from their childhood and maybe some of you still enjoy it to this day.  Well, that's just one of numerous fruit salad recipes.  There's no rhyme or reason to what all can go into a fruit salad and there's no "set recipe" for the proper fruit salad.  I've enjoyed many variations of fruit salad throughout the years; each of them different but delicious in their own way.  And now I have yet another fruit salad to share with you!

I'm so excited to share this quinoa fruit salad with you all.  This differs from other fruit salad because of one of the ingredients; it's not a fruit, it's actually a grain.  This salad includes a small, yet delicious and filling grain called quinoa.  It has a slightly different texture; it's mildly crunchy yet soft at the same time.  It's almost like it has an outer crunchy shell to incase the soft inside.  Quinoa doesn't have just a ton of flavor on it's own, so it's the perfect ingredient to include in many recipes to make it a little more filling without having to work with another flavor profile.  Quinoa also takes on the flavors of whatever it's included in, and can also be substitued in the place of rice and even beans.  I am always trying to introduce new beans and grains to our family, and this salad was the perfect way to introduce quinoa. 
This salad was full of bright bold colors with big flavor.  I loved the combination of blueberries, strawberries, and mango.  The addition of the honey-lime dressing just amps up the flavor that much more.  You know I'm big on flavor and this salad hits a lot of flavor notes; sweet, tart, and slightly tangy.  The mint also adds a nice splash of flavor and another hint of color to this already colorful salad.  I loved the flavor combinations of the fruit that I used this time, but I can't wait to try this salad with various other fruit combinations.  This salad is perfect for a hot day and will go well with a variety of meals. 
Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing
Ingredients:

For the quinoa-
1 Cup quinoa
2 Cups water
Pinch of salt

For the dressing-
1/2 Tsp lime zest
Juice 1 large lime
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp mint, finely chopped plus more for garnish, if desired

For the fruit-
1 1/2 Cups blueberries
1 1/2 Cups sliced strawberries
1 1/2 Cups chopped mango

Directions:

For the quinoa-
Rinse quinoa under cold water.  Combine quinoa, salt and water to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Allow quinoa to remain at a boil for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.  Remove quinoa from heat and fluff with a fork.  Allow to cool at room temperature.

For the dressing-
Combine lime zest, lime juice and honey in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Add mint and whisk just a few seconds more to combine.  Set aside.

To assemble-
In a large bowl combine quinoa, blueberries, strawberries, and mangos and stir to combine.  Top with dressing and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Garnish with additional mint, if desired.

Recipe source: Two Peas and Their Pod

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