Festive Quinoa Salad

The holidays were kind of a blur this year.  We spent time with family and friends for almost a solid two weeks.  No worries, though, it was a wonderful time.  (Mostly.  There was the typical drama that we were soon laughing over.   Nothing major.)

We traveled to the Denver area on the 21st to spend Christmas with the nieces and BiL.  My most wonderful In-Laws were there as well.  We had a great time packing in as much Minecraft, Kinect Sports (you can really get sore skiing), board games and Build-a-Bear as possible.  We also celebrated the youngest’s birthday.   Very festive time.  As family tradition dictates, we did the traditional Christmas Eve Buffet before we opened gifts.    A typical buffet includes cheese ball, marinated meat balls, little smokies in some fashion or another, onion dip, chips, sandwiches and fudge.  There is also the secretive family punch recipe.  (Even after 18 years of marriage, I still don’t have the definitive recipe for this secretive holiday beverage.)

We drove back home on Christmas day making it back before all the weather hit.   My family arrived in full force on the 26th.  We celebrated in full force until they departed on New Year’s Eve day.

While they were here, I experimented with a number of new recipes.  Just like my after-Thanksgiving-posts, I plan on sharing some of my new recipes with you here over the next few weeks.

Festive Quinoa Salad

1 c. red quinoa
2 c. water
2 oz. lemon juice
2 t. agave syrup
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. fine sea salt
pinch of paprika
pepper to taste
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 c. roasted red pepper, chopped
1/4 c. marinated olives, sliced
1/4 c. julienned dried tomatoes (packed in oil)

Rinse quinoa well by placing it in a large sieve and rinsing under cold water.  Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.  Set aside and let cool.

Whisk together the lemon juice, agave syrup, mustard, salt, paprika and pepper.   Slowly whisk in oil.


Olives (in jar), dried tomatoes, red peppers, and artichokes.


In a large mixing bowl, toss cooled quinoa with the lemon dressing.   Toss in the artichokes, red pepper, olives and dried tomatoes.   Serve.  (But, this is better the next day!)

I served this salad with Superbowl Sandwiches (recipe to come).

Festive Quinoa Salad from Eliot's Eats

Some other recipes that will be featured from this week of Christmas celebrations include the following:

  • Cannellini Baked Beans (with smoked pork butt)
  • Butternut-Andouille Sausage Soup
  • Homemade Veggie Pizza
  • Green Chile Soup with Smoked Sausage

We also had the obligatory Beouf for our after Christmas celebration.  In fact, I recreated all the dishes from our Thanksgiving meal including the Pear and Kale Salad and Lemon-Pecan Tart.

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

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