Are you ready for, like, a gazillion posts involving apples? I hope so, because that’s what’s coming! This weekend, Mike and I went apple-picking with our friends and their babies. I have no shame in saying that I, at age 26, love apple picking, but getting to see the joy it brought to the girls who were just over 2 years old was really magical! : )
This first recipe is a basic quinoa salad, which could be served warm or cold. However, since one of the key components of this recipe is baking the apples, I would recommend trying to serve it warm.
It’s a very easy process. First, cook your quinoa–(1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water). Remember to rinse your quinoa first. Mine usually takes about 25 minutes to get soft and absorb all the liquid. About 5 minutes before it’s done, when there’s just a small bit of water left, stir in your chopped spinach so it can cook down.
Once that’s started, chop your apples into bite size pieces. Place the bits into a baking dish with a very small amount of water to coat the bottom. Cover your apples with cinnamon and lemon juice. Bake them in your oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes (this should coincide nicely with the timing of your quinoa). On a separate baking sheet, place about 1/4 cup pecans and place in the oven for about 10 minutes. Check these often, burnt nuts are bad nuts!
While all of this is going on, compile your dressing. Put about 1-2 tblsp of your preferred cooking oil. I used sunflower oil. Add about 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. If you decide you want a bit of sweet kick, add 1-2 tsp of maple syrup. Whisk together with a fork.
Add your baked apples to the quinoa, and pour the dressing over it. Mix well. Add your pecans and give it another small stir. Enjoy!