quinoa salad with caramelized walnuts and cranberries

quinoa salad with caramelized walnuts and cranberries

Running has really grown on me. I always hated it, but ever since I started running in April, I have fallen in love with the sport. It’s so easy to keep up with — all you need is the right pair of sneakers and off you go to break a sweat. Throughout the past couple of months, I’ve received all sorts of advice from running friends — buy sneakers that are adapted to your foot, don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning, up your mileage slowly week by week — but one thing no one ever told me was how dangerous it is to run in the Fall.

caramelized walnuts broccoli | www.savormania.com

Last Sunday, I woke up to a clear blue sky. The sun was blasting, the day was quite warm for November and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. I decided to put on my sneakers and get outside for a nice long run, so as to enjoy the sunny weather one last time before Winter rolls in. As usual, the first five minutes are torture — my legs burned and I just wanted to be back in bed. I continued running through the leaves on the street and quickly felt that sense of freedom and euphoria — what they call the runner’s high — taking over my body, until I suddenly felt my ankle twist on a branch. It didn’t hurt that much at first, so I continued running another 20 minutes until I got home. I wish I would have stopped running right there, because a couple of hours later, my ankle hurt so bad that I fainted from the pain on the bathroom floor.

quinoa salad with caramelized walnuts and cranberries | www.savormania.com

So now I not only have a swollen foot but a swollen head too! I am writing to you straight from my living room couch, with my sprained ankle in a brace. I’ve had to take it easy this week — under Doc’s orders — resting, elevating and icing my ankle, hoping that it will heal fast enough. We have a busy month ahead of us, as we are traveling to Rome at the end of the month for a romantic getaway and then to New York City for my cousin’s wedding. All this explains why I’ve been a bit MIA on Instagram lately, but luckily I had a couple of recipes ready to go before my little accident happened.


For those who love the combination of sweet and savory, this quinoa salad is a must for your Thanksgiving dinner table. I first stumbled upon it while reading through the blog Peas and Crayons, and have adapted it a bit with some new ingredients. Quinoa’s nutty flavor pairs beautifully well with caramelized walnuts and cranberries, not to mention the crunchiness of celery and broccoli florets that are concealed within the salad. Enjoy!

quinoa salad with caramelized walnuts and cranberries | www.savormania.com


For more salad recipes, click here

Make sure to follow my adventures and recipes on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #savormania when recreating my recipes at home!

quinoa salad with caramelized walnuts and cranberries
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad/Side dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 6 to 8
Ingredients for the quinoa salad
  • 2 cups uncooked red and white quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small broccoli head
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the caramelized walnuts
  • 1 ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Bring quinoa, water and some salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes until cooked through. Put quinoa in a bowl and let cool completely.
  2. Chop the broccoli head into florets. Cook them in boiling water in the saucepan for 2 minutes, not more. They shouldn't become mushy and should still remain crunchy. Run them under cold water in a colander to stop the cooking process. Chop them into tiny florets and add to the quinoa. Add the celery and dried cranberries.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, lime, garlic clove, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix to combine. Let marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge for the cranberries to soak up the dressing.
  4. To make the caramelized walnuts, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the chopped walnuts, honey, brown sugar and salt and sauté all together for 5 minutes until all the nuts are coated. Spread them on a plate over parchment paper, separating the nuts from each other.
  5. Right before serving the salad, add the caramelized walnuts to the quinoa and mix to combine. Serve the salad at room temperature.
This salad is best when it is left to marinate for a couple of hours prior to serving. Make sure to bring it down to room temperature before serving. Only add the walnuts just before serving.
ADAPTED FROM: Peas and Crayon's Cranberry Quinoa Salad With Caramelized Walnuts


quinoa salad with caramelized walnuts and cranberries | www.savormania.com

More recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge