Quinoa (keen-wah) is one of the great superfoods of the world. Whether used in baked goods, mixed in a smoothie, as a hot cereal base, a savory side dish, a cold salad or as the star of dinner, this little grain is versatile in every way. I love that it’s loaded with protein, more so than most vegetarian sources, and packed with vitamins and minerals. And chewy in texture by nature, when mixed with softened sauteed apples and raisins, the consistency is perfect for babies still exploring the world of chewed food. Feel free to add chopped parsley, kale, spinach, or arugula for an even healthier touch as well. Audrey had it for dinner last night with a bit of grilled chicken and happily exclaimed a bunch of “MMMmmmmms” along the way. And my heart melted with every single one….
Warm Quinoa Salad with Apples & Raisins
12 months + up
Makes 4 cups
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
2 red apples, such as gala or fuji, very finely diced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium saucepan, heat quinoa over high heat, stirring constantly, until thoroughly dried and slightly toasted (when the grains are fragrant and crackle). Slowly add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat coconut oil (or butter, if using) in a skillet over medium heat. Add apples and saute until cooked though and softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add raisins, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and continue to cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat. In a large bowl combine quinoa and apple-raisin mixture.
In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey, mustard and oil. Pour over quinoa and stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired.