Red, White & Blue Quinoa Fruit Salad with Vanilla Honey Vinaigrette

by Chrissy

Sometimes you need a little something sweet on your plate to complement your favorite BBQ foods.

This is one of those types of sweet sides.

Here are a few reasons why you should make this for your 4th of July  or Summer BBQing festivities:

1. Quinoa salads are taking America (aka ‘Merica) by storm and you would be silly to leave this type of dish out of your party food line-up.

2. Everybody loves fresh berries. That is a fact. I don’t even need to double check it.

3. Candied almonds are probably considered crack in some states. This fairground treat is always my favorite. I can smell them baking from a mile away. While I was at Oktoberfest in Germany, I think I was responsible for eating two paper-cone’s worth…by myself.

4. You can never have too many sides, salads, or desserts at a BBQ, and this dish covers all 3 categories, so give yourself a pat on the back. Versatility for daysss.

Since the quinoa-cooking, fruit-slicing, vinaigrette-making parts of this recipe are super simple and I bet you could to them in your sleep, I’ll save the step-by-step photo instructions for the candied flaxseed almonds.

First, grab some almonds. They will look something like this. So raw and naked. Let’s do something about that.

You’ll want to mix the sugar, cinnamon, salt and flaxseed in a separate bowl and set it aside.

Yes, I said flax. On almonds. That are sweet, and crunchy, and a tad salty. You won’t even know that you are getting the extra boost of fiber and omega-3’s. I promise, it’s a good idea. Especially since they are like crack and you might just each half the batch before they have time to cool….oops.

You might need some elbow grease for this one (but don’t really use elbow grease. I don’t even know if that is a real thing): whisk the egg white, vanilla extract, and water, really fast until it’s nice and frothy.

Gently stir in the almonds, being sure to dress them all in tuxedos in the egg white mixture.

Pour the sugar mixture over the almonds and mix  to cover them, evenly.

Pour them out over a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, in a single layer.

Bake at 250 F for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes (they should look like this, halfway through). See the note in the directions at the bottom, in the case that they aren’t perfectly crunchy when they cool.

When all is said and done, they should look as b-e-a-utiful as these little crispy sweet almonds.

Nom nom nom.

So, if you couldn’t tell already, the strawberries (red), white peaches (white), and blueberries (blue), plus some slightly sweetened quinoa, topped with candied flaxseed almonds = best side-dish, salad, dessert, appetizer, that you have ever tasted!

Do it. All the fruit is on sale, and it is easy to make. This is a great “make ahead” dish, so you don’t have to be slaving away in the kitchen, when the party arrives!

So, stick a flag in it and call it a day. It is almost the 4th of July, after all.

 

Red, White & Blue Quinoa Fruit Salad with

Vanilla Honey Vinaigrette.

Sweet side-dish serves 6

Sweet Quinoa Fruit Salad:

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cup white peaches, sliced

1/2 cup candied almonds (recipe below)

Directions:
In a medium pan, over high heat, add uncooked quinoa, water, and milk, and bring to a rolling boil. Lower heat, cover with lid, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until liquid is evaporated. Keep an eye on it, as you may have to turn the heat down if the liquid is attempting to bubble over.
Add the brown sugar and allow to cool to room temperature before adding the berries.

Meanwhile, get the almonds going, and make the dressing.

When the quinoa has cooled, add the strawberries, blueberries, white peaches and the vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before enjoying. When ready to eat, top with candied almonds and enjoy for a sweet BBQ side-dish or a healthier dessert.

Vanilla Honey Vinaigrette:
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp honey

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients and mix well (an immersion blender works best). If desired, add more honey, for a sweeter taste.

Candied Flaxseed Almonds slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp water
2 cups raw almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsps of sea salt
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, flaxseed, and sea salt; set aside. In larger bowl, whisk together the egg white, vanilla extract and water, and beat until frothy (but not stiff). Stir in almonds and mix to coat them, entirely.

Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the almond mixture and mix until evenly coated.

In a single layer, spread coated almonds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them around every 15 minutes.

If they are a little on the sticky side when they cool, separate each almond and transfer onto a clean parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the oven at 300 F for another 10-12 minutes. They should be crunchy, not sticky. When they are ready, sprinkle about 1/2-3/4 cup over the top of the quinoa salad, while packing the rest in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,
Chrissy

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19 Responses to “Red, White & Blue Quinoa Fruit Salad with Vanilla Honey Vinaigrette”

  1. You had me at red, white, and blue quinoa salad, but holy moses! Honey vinaigrette AND candied almonds? You girls have out done yourself! And I love how you “healthified” the candied almonds with the egg white and flax seed! I couldn’t agree more…you can never have too many sides at a BBQ…or any family get together from where I’m from! We had 1 ham, 7 sides, and 3 desserts last Thanksgiving…for 4 5 people! Hahaha!

    Can’t wait to give this a try!

  2. I’m still not 100% sold on quiona, BUT, this does look very good! I may have to do this almond thing ASAP…

  3. LOVE this, you guys! I eat quinoa nearly daily and the vinaigrette is perfect. Not to mention these almonds. Love, love!

  4. Never would have thought of putting quinoa and fruit together – awesome. And those almonds look divine!

  5. Chrissy

    Oh my goodness, your Thanksgiving sounds AMAZING! Just like my family, lots of food, but lots of people, too!

    Yes, oh yes, this quinoa dish is easily my new favorite. I couldn’t help but graze on it while the candied almonds were finishing up. But don’t worry I still ate half the batch of nuts, as promised.

    Can’t wait for you to make it! :) Happy 4th!

  6. Chrissy

    Do it!! Halve the recipe so you can have a taste! As for the almonds…. YOU NEED THOSE! :)

  7. Chrissy

    Thanks, Cassie! I was absolutely floored by the results! All those things, put together = pure deliciousness. It is so pleasantly sweet, I would never have believe that only 1 Tbsp of honey and 1 Tbsp of brown sugar were the only sweeteners in the quinoa/vinaigrette! I must say, the almonds are quite addicting.
    Happy 4th!

  8. This was sooooooo good! Thanks for sharing some with me! I am going to make it many times this summer!

  9. I’ve never seen quinoa used in a fruit salad. Very creative and congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  10. Chrissy

    Thanks, DB! You have to try it! I was a really good decision, I promise.

  11. Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Today’s Top 9!

  12. Oh. My. GOODNESS.

    I was down with just the fruit and the quinoa.

    But then you had to throw in those ALMONDS OMG I DIE.

    This is perfection. Absolute perfection!

  13. Chrissy

    Eeeee. Sue you are so welcome!!! I love when we do food tradesies. I made that word up, but you know what I mean.

  14. Chrissy

    Indeed!! You must try it soon! It is so refreshing. And those almonds are dangerous, let me tell you…

  15. This looks wonderful. I have been making my quinoa salads with a mix of fruits and veggies, I think it’s time to try a full-on, quinoa fruit salad.

    I doubt there would be any leftover candied almonds if I made this.

  16. Chrissy

    Just go for it.. all fruit!
    Agreed, those almonds are near impossible to keep around.

  17. Hi Lauren and Chrissy, I made this last night and it is delcious. I tweaked it a little for my taste by adding a little more brown sugar and some cinnamon. It is so yummy! I love the almonds and will continue to use that part of the recipe for candied almonds for salads. And those almonds are delicious all by themselves! I am enjoying your website here in Tucson. (BTW Lauren– I am Dorothy’s sister). Congratulations on continued success– Teresa

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