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Cranberry & Smoked Almond Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

This time of the year, I have a few things on my mind; family, the holidays and all the delicious food that goes with the first two!  A simple salad filled with smoky almonds, sweet and tangy dried cranberries, creamy goat cheese and then all dressed together with a simple balsamic vinaigrette!

As the foodie in my family, my mother usually turns to me to create a showstopper menu for every family gathering. My personal favorite to hit the drawing board for is side dishes. The ability to add so many layers of flavors and countless textures gets my wheels turning!



Quinoa is a staple around our house and fits the bill to help with the nutty and wholesome flavor that is popular around the holidays. And I adore it when dried fruit and buttery goat cheese is added. Smoked almonds contribute an earthy element and a fantastic crunch compared to the creaminess of the other ingredients. Flavors this simple sure do create for one outstanding side dish.

This salad is so simple to make and can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use. As here, you can prepare the quinoa then add in the cranberries and almonds earlier in the day then dress before serving.



The holidays are meant for spending time with loved ones so whip up this delicious quinoa salad and enjoy a hearty salad that is stress free!

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup smoked almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Cook quinoa according to package instructions.

When done, in a large bowl, add quinoa, cranberries, almonds, goat cheese, basil and balsamic vinaigrette.

Garnish with more chopped basil.

Serve immediately. *NOTE: Salad can be made ahead of time. Just add balsamic dressing before serving.



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