Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Mango, Blueberries and Basil with Lemon Dressing

Quinoa Salad

What in the bleep is up with pinterest!? Humor me for a second. Try to pin this recipe. All the pictures disappear in rapid succession, don't they? You can't pin anything, can you? You can tell me in the comments. About to rip my hair out over this issue. Also, please ignore my button drama to the right. I'll get it squared away today.


A couple weeks ago there was a brunch at Danielle's complete with people that fell into the following categories: A) best friends B) people I'd never met C) acquaintances D) people I'm quite friendly with (is there such a category?) Quite impressive considering I was one of six people in attendance. Also, there was a spinach and goat cheese crustless quiche, fresh fruit with mint and coconut milk drizzle, and strawberry scones. "Plan A" was to blog about the scones. But the plan went horribly awry. They tasted incredible, but took like, five years to bake. I have no idea why. Some baking genius I turned out to be. So now, I humbly offer you this tasty quinoa salad instead, and really, you shouldn't be disappointed because this recipe is going to become your new go-to.

Quinoa can be boring, but when you top it with ripe fruit, chewy dried cranberries for tartness and texture, fresh basil and tangy lemon dressing, it's anything but. I didn't have blueberries the other day, so I used strawberries instead and it was delicious, so use what you have. I've made this twice to rave reviews.

I mean, look at this gorgeousness. Can you hear the angles singing?
Quinoa Salad with Mangos and Blueberries

I have to say, the basil makes it. Although mint would be a good addition or substitute if you hate basil. But, then again, if you hate basil you have far worse problems than I can help you with. 

Maybe you could invite some friends over for lunch and make this salad, instead of the brunch we had. The scene would be the same, the food different, but who really cares. It comes down to the people, right? At least that's what I keep telling my introverted self. I like to spend my time at brunches clicking pictures, eating, concerning myself with troubleshooting strawberry scones that refuse to bake, and apparently, putting people into ridiculous categories based on how well I know them.








I love people, parties, and hosting, as much as the next gal. Sometimes though, it's more comfortable for me to shrink back behind the scenes and busy myself, popping in on conversations occasionally, but not starting them myself. Especially if there are people there who I don't know very well. Not all the time though. The other half of the time in social situations, I get all kinds of chatty and outgoing...laughing, listening, telling loud, animated stories. Often, wine is involved. Both are me though. Both are great in their own ways. My friend Becca said when she first met me, she thought I was totally snobby. She has since changed her mind. It's not the first time I've heard something like it though. Whatever. If you saw me breaking it down to Justin Beiber's "Baby" in my kitchen, that "snobby" impression would go right out the window promptly replaced by "completely awesome" or "scary" depending on who you are. Please remember I have a 10 year old daughter.

Then, since you'd be standing in my kitchen, you'd probably ask me what I was making. Hopefully I'd say this quinoa salad and not strawberry scones, because if that was the case, we could be there for a while...

Quinoa Salad with Mango, Blueberries and Basil with Lemon Dressing
adapted from Veggie Belly
serves 4

For the quinoa
2 cup quinoa
4 cups water

For the fruits and veggies
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cubed ripe mango
1 cup cubed cucumbers
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
15 large basil leaves, chopped

For the lemon dressing
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
zest from one lemon
salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)

Place the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer coveres for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. let it cool to room temperature.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and reserve until ready to use.

Spread the quinoa out over a medium platter and top with the fruits, veggies and basil. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Does anyone else have Pinterest problems? It's only me, isn't it? *sigh*


  1. LOL she thought you were snobby?! NEVER! ;) I'm just kidding. My best friend gets that all the time because she's more reserved and gives some weird looks but she is NOT snobby. Back to the recipe...I can't pin ANYTHING!! I couldn't yest either. This looks good though. Let me know when your button issues are worked out and email it over to me!!

  2. I'm sad I can't get this to pin - sometimes pinterset is such a pain! Guess that means I'll just have to print it out now and make it right away! :) It looks so refreshing!

  3. Lauren, I usually find a way to pin my recipes, so if you follow "My Life In Food" board through Pinterest you can re-pin it. Now, let's see if I can actually get it to work!

  4. I successfully pinned it, so if you follow my board, you should be able to get it. ;) I seriously have to sit there with cat like reflexes trying to pin the picture before it disappears!

  5. This recipe sounds delish and I get the same snotty thing. So, I loved this post :)

  6. that quinoa salad looks delicious!

  7. Hi krysta, Beth wood here...from category b :) I was just catching up on your blog and what do you know there I was and even more shocking is that my hair was done! I tried to play it cool like I had just read your blog a few times but really I read every post...your food always looks delicious and I love your stories. Also, for the record, I did not think you were snobby.

  8. Beth! You are hilarious. And now, I'm off to friend you on facebook. :)