Wednesday, August 28, 2013


About a week before Billy and I were set to visit with Billy’s parents (Miss Millie and the June Bug) the June Bug had a mini-stroke.  He underwent a myriad of tests, one of them being a nuclear stress test.

And then I had this story I wanted to share with you about how we drove through the Canadian border and that the June Bug got pulled over at Customs because they detected the radiation from the nuclear stress test and that detection of radiation is associated with terrorists!

And I was going to tell you how he convinced the agents that he wasn't a terrorist, but then I began to think, “What if a terrorist is reading this, and they get some ideas?”…“Do terrorists read my blog?”…”Maybe I just better not tell that story!”

Any hoo…The tests showed that the June Bug has a great deal of blockage in his carotid artery.  The June Bug has got to make serious changes in the way he eats in order to keep a more serious stroke at bay.

 “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:13

So at least while we were on vacay (isn’t vacation license to eat anything you crave?), Billy and I took one for the team and decided we needed to lead by example so we only ordered healthy food when dining out; you don’t know what it took not to order the macaroni salad (the best macaroni salad ever) over the green salad at Bojangles' Diner… or to abstain from the funnel cakes at The Arts In The Park Festival.

When we ate at home I did the cooking, and I made a special effort to show Billy’s parents that heart healthy foods don’t have to be boring; that they can be packed with flavor and even be exciting! 

Yes, you heard right!  Healthy foods are exciting! 

Truthfully, if a healthy dish isn’t mighty tasty, I don’t wanna eat it; so how can I expect Billy’s parents to do so?

This colorful Apricot & Almond Quinoa Salad with Citrus dressing is super exciting!  It’s packed with protein rich quinoa, sweet apricots, plenty of crisp veggies for fiber as well as vitamins, and uses heart healthy oils in the dressing; it’s good for you and it's tasty.

Here’s how you make this exciting salad!

Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the package directions, which in this case called for 2 cups of water.

Quinoa can be bitter and often needs to be rinsed in order to remove that bitterness.
The package of this quinoa stated that the quinoa did not need to be rinsed, if the package doesn't mention anything about rinsing, then assume that it needs to be rinsed!

Allow the quinoa to cool completely.

I actually made a big batch of quinoa the night before and used half of the quinoa for stuffed peppers and half for this salad; I’m all in for shortcuts.

Toss into the quinoa some diced cukes, bell pepper, cabbage, dice dried apricots, scallion and parsley.

I like to use a fork to gently toss everything together.

Although they’re in the photo, don't add the almonds yet as they will soften, add them at the time of service.

To make the dressing start with the juice of half of a lemon...

I like to use rice vinegar as it's nice and light.

I also used a mixture of oils; olive oil for fruitiness, canola oil because it's light and sesame oil for flavor.

You may choose to skip the olive oil, and use only canola oil, but I wouldn't recommend using straight olive oil as the flavor is too strong for the flavors used in this salad.

Also whisk in a little honey with some salt and pepper to balance everything out.

Pour the dressing over the quinoa and veggies use a fork to combine the ingredients.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and add the almonds right before service.

Quinoa salad is terrific served with chicken, pork or fish.

I also like to eat a big bowl of Apricot & Almond Quinoa Salad for lunch all on it's own, it's loaded with protein after all!


Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

1              cup         Uncooked quinoa
¾             cup         Cucumber, medium dice
¾             cup         Red bell pepper, medium dice
3/4           cup         Red cabbage, thinly sliced
½             cup         Dried apricots, medium dice
3                            Scallions, thinly sliced
3              Tbsp.        Flat leaf parsley, chopped
½                           Lemon, juice of
3              Tbsp.       Rice vinegar
½             Tbsp.       Honey
2              Tbsp.       Olive oil
2              Tbsp.       Canola oil
½             tsp.         Sesame oil
1/8           tsp.         Garlic powder
                             Salt and Pepper to taste
½             cup         Slice almonds

   1.       Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.  Once the quinoa is cooked, allow it to cool completely.
   2.       Use a fork to lightly fold the cucumber, red bell pepper, red cabbage, dried apricots, scallions, and flat leaf parsley into the cooked & cooled quinoa.
   3.       In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, rice vinegar, honey, olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
   4.       Pour the dressing over the quinoa and veggies and toss gently with a fork to combine the ingredients completely.
   5.       Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
   6.       Toss the almonds in the salad right before service.

Notes:  *The salad with keep for about 4 days.
           **You may use all canola oil in place of the olive oil, but I wouldn’t suggest using all olive oil in this salad.
           ***This is a great way to use leftover quinoa! 

 Some more healthy recipes:

Sweet Corn and Tomato Pasta

Stuffed Portabellas Stacked with Grilled Veggies

Shrimp and Soba Noodle Salad

This recipe was shared at:

The Weekend Potluck

Foodie Friends Friday


  1. I love this salad and mixing sweet and savory. Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. I apologize for just posting a comment for this delicious salad in your green bean salad post. You might want to delete that comment.

    I'm sharing this on my FB page this afternoon.

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Foodie Friends Friday.