Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

My latest breakfast obsession. I'm a complete evangelist for this dish.

If you're gluten-free like me, you eat a lot of quinoa. A lot. But up until two weeks ago I had never eaten it for breakfast. I thought it would be an odd addition to a breakfast dish. Well, was I ever wrong. It ads texture, flavor, protein, and fiber. I particularly love the added protein because usually I'm able to last until lunch without a snack. That wouldn't be the case if I simply had a bowl of fruit. 

Side note: My nutritional counselor is big on soaking (also known as sprouting) grains (quinoa, rice, millet, etc.) before you cook them, so I'll make a plug for that here. An article she recently sent me talks about how soaking grains (in warm water for about 24 hours before you cook them) helps "neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption." Basically soaking opens up enzymes and makes the grains easier to digest. You can buy sprouted quinoa, but it tends to be more expensive. I'm a big fan of this truRoots Organic Sprouted Quinoawhich is available at Whole Foods. 

Anyway, I found this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite food blogs. Not all of their recipes are gluten-free, but you can generally substitute ingredients. This is the perfect summer breakfast dish, and the fresh mint really adds a burst of flavor (I love fresh mint, and can't wait until I have my own garden to grow it in).
Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

Serves 6

For the quinoa:

1 cup cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)

For the honey-lime dressing:

Juice of 1 large lime
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

For the fruit:

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple
Extra chopped mint, for garnishoptional
(You can also add mango, peaches, raspberries, grapes, etc.)

Let the quinoa cool off until it's about room temperature, and mix it in a bowl with the fruit. Then add the dressing and additional mint for garnish.

I like to make a batch of this on Sunday and bring it to work for breakfast. To maintain extra freshness I keep the quinoa, fruit, and dressing in separate containers and then mix everything together each morning before I head out the door.



  1. Its so easy to grow your own mint and basil in a planter inside your apartment, I highly suggest it! I bought an apple mint and a basil plant at the farmers market, mom helped me repot them into the same one with some potting soil and a trowel shovel (takes no time- you can go to the local hardware store and ask for the materials). I usually water it just once or twice a week or whenever I see the leaves start to wilt. When you're ready to take some leaves off, pull a stem section off of the top and it will regrow upwards... I highly suggest it- doesn't even need to be outside!