Pomegranate Mint Quinoa Salad A tasty bit of health amongst the busyness of the season

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There’s something about this salad that draws you in – maybe it’s the festive splashes of red and green, or maybe it’s the intrigue of adding pomegranate seeds to quinoa. For me, it was perhaps both of these things, along with the taste of a fresh, healthy salad that is filling enough to eat as a mid-day meal. In fact, I think my first introduction to this dish was more of an easy dinner with grilled chicken to top it off.

The flavours were enhanced as time passed, but this salad didn’t make it past the second day with us! Simple to make, healthy, and easy to make-ahead of time, this recipe has become a favourite!

Pomegranate Quinoa Tabbouleh (adapted from Shape Magazine, November 2014)

1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 scallions, thinly cut lengthwise
1-2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
¾ cup coursely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup coarsley chopped fresh mint
1 cup pomegranate seeds (approximately 1 pomegranate)
1 small apple, cored and diced
⅔ cup coarsley chopped raw pistachios or pecans
¾ cup crumbled feta

  1. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Combine quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooled and cooked quinoa, olive oil, lemon juice, scallions, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds, diced apple, pistachios or walnuts and feta. Toss to combine. Garnish with a few mint leaves and serve.

Serves: 4
Total time: 45 minutes, including 15 minutes cooling quinoa

Health benefits of Pomegranates:
Pomegranates are known as a super food, rich in antioxidants to keep the heart healthy and boost the immune system. Pomegranate also lower cholesterol, blood pressure and are loaded with vitamin C.

Tips:
The process of picking out each seed of the pomegranate can be time-consuming and messy. Take heart: there’s a better way! Cut the pomegranate into quarters and soak in a bowl of cold water as this will allow an easier and a more contained process of pulling apart the seeds from the fruit membrane. Remove the fleshy bits, drain the seeds, and voila!