Tonight for dinner, I decided to try a new salad. I looked around in the fridge to see what I had and I noticed I had a lot of spinach and shredded carrots. Then, I went to the pantry and I saw my unopened bag of dried cranberries. I have recently discovered that I really like them, especially on salads. I was always reluctant to eat them because I hate, Hate, HATE raisins. I can’t stand the little rotten grapes that have shriveled up and should have been thrown away instead of boxed up and sold as food. Eww, nasty things. So, because of that, I hadn’t tried dried cranberries. Eventually I realized that was a stupid reason to not try them so I was pleasantly surprised when I found I enjoyed them.
Then, in the back of the pantry, I saw the last of my red quinoa. That’s when inspiration struck. I made the quinoa, washed the spinach, plated it and added the carrots to the spinach and then plopped on a bunch of quinoa and topped it off with the cranberries. It was delicious. I dumped a bunch of spicy ingredients in with the quinoa as it was cooking so it was full of flavor and a lot of fun to eat. Here are the pics and the full recipe.
Spicy Quinoa and Cranberry Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp Jamaican Jerk seasoning
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup shredded carrots
- Rinse and soak the quinoa for 15 minutes. If you haven’t shredded your carrots before hand, this would be a good time to do that. While shredding your carrots, think about how procrastination has caused you more work while you could be enjoying the 15 minute soak time doing something else.
- Drain the quinoa and add it to a medium pot along with the 2 1/2 cups water. Bring water to a boil and add the jerk seasoning and the garlic powder. Stir quinoa for one minute.
- Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer the quinoa for 20 minutes.
- During the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, rinse the spinach and add to the bottom of your serving plate(s).
- Place shredded carrots on top of the spinach.
- When the quinoa is done, add it to the top of the salad
- Top the salad with dried cranberries and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
That’s it. It’s an easy to make salad and it tasted great. Usually I don’t add things like garlic powder to my food but in this case it’s an easy way to get the garlic to dissolve and be absorbed by the quinoa. The jerk seasoning is one that I’ve had sitting in my spice rack for a long time. I used to add it to chicken but I haven’t done that in a long time. I think I finally found a new use for it. If you choose to make this, enjoy. I know I did. Just make sure you don’t hiccup right as you’re bringing a fork full of spicy quinoa to your mouth. You could end up inhaling it and getting it stuck in your throat where it will burn and make you cough for the next half hour.