So here’s the deal: this salad is the current love of my life, and our oven and stove are broken.
Like, leaking gas into our house whenever it turns on and I’m not allowed to bake anything at the risk of exploding the building. And as I might have mentioned 100 times this year, we also don’t have a microwave, so I’m at this point in my life where I’m being forced to eat something cold, and considering that we also don’t have a freezer for ice cream (this is turning into a perfect sob story of life abroad) I am being forced to eat a cold salad.
With that darn quinoa, AGAIN, because it’s already cooked and there’s a bunch left over in the fridge. How annoying/awesome.
The last cold salad I had was so delicious: a Chopped Thai Chicken Salad. And it was chopped. Hey, guess what my favorite kind of salad is? CHOPPED.
This salad comes in with equally high marks from both me and Bjork. It’s sososo good that I’ve made it at least four times in the last, er, two days. Something healthy that we both like? Heck yes.
I didn’t even plan on posting it, actually, because it’s so simple and I’ve posted so many quinoa recipes lately that I thought it might be overkill. Because actually, it IS overkill. Buuuut then the oven broke so I had to. Ha-ha to you, Alfredo veggie lasagna. Salad wins today.
500 quinoa recipes later, quinoa is totally growing on me, but the star of this salad isn’t really the quinoa. It’s the perfectly juicy, crisp, colorful produce like sweet pink apples, fresh greens like spinach and arugula and parsley, and earthy-delicious carrots.
And here’s the kicker. The “dressing” for this salad is store-bought apple chutney. Not joking. I found some Stonewall Kitchen apple chutney at our little neighborhood grocery store here in the Philippines (?!) and it was in my cart before I even knew what had happened. And as if that isn’t enough, then I noticed that there was not just one but TWO varieties of apple chutney on the shelf. Sooo you can’t find raspberry jam, but you can definitely find apple chutney. What in the world.
I actually liked the second variety of apple chutney better – the brand is Essential Waitrose. It had walnuts and caramelized onions and chili powder and lottts of sticky-sweet apples. I could definitely eat it with a spoon. But since that’s a European brand, I’m afraid that’s not going to work for you North American friends. I’d suggest just finding any apple chutney (or something similar) with a spicy, warm, nutty, sweet flavor.
So my final thoughts on this salad are that I L-O-V-E-D it.
- The flavor and texture combo was so yummy: fresh and sweet, crispy-crunchy-soft, and spicy from the chutney.
- It only took 5 minutes to make since the quinoa was already cooked.
- It can be eaten with chips. Pita chips, pretzel chips, brown rice chips, Hint of Lime chips… trust meeee.
- It can be eaten plain. Totally a meal-worthy salad, says Bjork. See what I mean?
If there’s one thing I need right now, it’s chips. I mean, salad. Any time, day or night.
I hope your oven “breaks” soon.
- 2 apple, grated or chopped (2 heaping cups)
- 2-3 large carrot, grated or chopped (2 heaping cups)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- ½ cup chopped almonds or walnuts
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup apple chutney - my favorite was an apple walnut variety
- chopped or whole mixed salad greens, like spinach or arugula (optional)
- salt to taste
- Prep the ingredients and allow to chill in the fridge. I've had best results with mixing when the quinoa is cool and crumbly instead of hot and sticky.
- Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss until well combined. Serve immediately, either plain, with chips, or on fresh greens.