Apple Quinoa Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

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I love a good dinner salad but tend to make the same few over and over because I love them so much. This fall salad, however, may end up in my rotation even out of season. It’s just that good.
fall salad
Grab your biggest salad bowl. It starts with greens. I used baby mixed greens, a whole 5 ounce container. Rough chop. Add to the bowl.
Next. Quinoa. I got some rainbow quinoa from Imperfect Foods that was ridiculously cheap because — and I’m not making this up — the proportion of colors wasn’t exact. Apparently there’s a percentage of white/red/black that a mix is supposed to meet, otherwise it can’t be sold. Who knew. Want to see what kind of deal you can get for yourself? You can get $80 in free groceries here.  For real.
From there, I added some apples, super toasty pecans (I left them in my toaster oven too long, but they turned out perfect) and salty feta cheese. Cranberries for tartness, and Honeycrisp apples because those are my fave. You can use whatever kind you want, but something that’s sweet, tart, and crisp will work best here.
For the dressing, I wanted something that would go with these flavors, obviously. But also that would be kind of fall-like if that makes sense. I mean, it’s still 80+ degrees here in mid-October so I’m not sure anything makes sense. But a fall-flavored dressing — that’s not pumpkin-related — makes perfect sense right?
Enter the mustard — your grainiest one. And the maple syrup. And some apple cider vinegar. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, I’m telling you. You want the perfect fall salad? This is it.
And there ya have it, folks. A healthy, delicious fall meal that’s not soup or stew, and with no pumpkin in sight. You’re welcome.
fall salad
fall salad

Apple Quinoa Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

This easy fall salad is healthy, delicious, and tastes like a walk in the park under jewel toned trees. Perfect for those not so chilly fall nights.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Servings 4
Calories 419 kcal

Ingredients
  

Salad:

  • 5 ounces mixed baby greens rough chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup diced apples such as Honeycrisp or Granny Smith
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Lightly toss with tongs.
  • Put the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until well combined. Taste, and adjust the seasoning or balance of flavors to your liking.
  • Add the dressing to the salad and toss until everything is coated.
  • Transfer between bowls and serve.

Notes

Storing leftovers: You can make the salad and dressing ahead, but don’t combine until ready to serve.
Variations: Any variety of apple will work here, and you can swap out the pecans for another type of nut, such as walnuts or almonds. Goat cheese is also a good substitute for feta.
Pairs well with: Chewy Browned Butter Oatmeal Cookies, Low and Slow Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Tomato Pumpkin Soup

Nutrition

Calories: 419kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 7gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 280mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 3gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 503IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition information is only an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. View full nutrition disclousre.
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