Curry Quinoa Salad

I think I’m giving up on the weather. Yesterday it was a gorgeous 70 degrees! Jesse and I did some work in the garage and on the yard and rode around with the windows down. Today I’m at home in my pjs because there is a freaking BLIZZARD happening! Obviously Mother Nature didn’t get the hint with my spring mantel. Or maybe she’s my new BFF and knew that I didn’t want to go to work today. Either way I’ve decided not to complain, too much, about it.

Since it was so nice this Jesse and I decided to take a trip Downtown to Farm Fresh and to gather some ingredients for a few recipes from their website. A few weeks ago Farm Fresh released a Food Trends Forecast, which outlined what kind of foods people are going to be buy and eating this spring/summer season:

  • “Real” Food. Local, sustainable and farm-to-table options that have a healthy aspect to them will be among the most significant trends, experts predicted.
  • Small Is the New Big. Expect that more people will forego formal dinner parties for more casual affairs with small-plate options and tasting menus replacing the more traditional multicourse meals.
  • Tango with Mango. When it comes to produce, mangoes, avocados, micro/local greens and dark greens were among the hottest produce trends predicted.
  • Viva la Veggie. Consumers looking to eat healthier will also start to look for more unusual vegetables such as kohlrabi, turnips and different types of radishes.
  • Less Is More. People will seek out more products with a limited number of ingredients and easy-to-identify ingredients.
  • Grain Brain. Ancient grains, such as quinoa, farro and wheatberries, will grow in popularity among Virginia cooks as the national healthy ingredient, healthy eating boom expands.
  • Chips to Nuts. Healthier snack options will gain in popularity. Kale chips will give way to seaweed chips, and we’ll see more nut-based snacks as a result of recent studies showing their nutritional benefits.
  • Healthier, DIY Foods for Kids. People will also turn to healthier foods for kids, and they’ll get kids more involved in food preparation with fun, simple, do-it-yourself recipes.
  • Fermentation Nation. Pickling will be the home food preparation trend of the year, experts say, as people experiment with different fruits, foods and methods to create unique, interesting additions to their table fare.
  • Cultural Cravings. Asian ingredients and foods will populate the food scene. Local experts point to growth in an array of cuisines and flavors, including Indian, Korean, Southeast Asian and Japanese. Interest in South American cuisine also is expected to rise.
  • Breakfast for Lunch. Or Dinner. Breakfast food for any meal was among the most notable predictions. Eggs, fresh fruit and fruit with yogurt or Greek yogurt will be top breakfast choices.

I’ve definitely noticed a lot of these trends kicking in, Farmer’s Markets and the like were HUGE last summer and people are really embracing veggies. One thing that we haven’t really messed around with a lot are the grains, like quinoa. Jesse occasionally makes a Mediterranean style quinoa and I’ve had noodles and breads made from quinoa flower at my mother-in-law’s house because she is gluten-free, but I’ve never really cooked with it. So when Farm Fresh contacted us about trying out one of their recipes based on these food trends for 2014, I totally jumped on the quinoa band wagon and we decided to make the Curry Quinoa SaladCurry Quinoa Salad - Pin

Ingredients 
*Farm Fresh is a VA/NC grocery store chain, so I used their Essential Everyday brand because I prefer saving money with store brands, but of course any brand of these ingredients will work.*
– 1 cup white Quinoa
– 1 (5 oz.) package Sweetened Dried Cranberries
– 4 teaspoons curry powder, divided
– 1/4 cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
– 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
– 1 large crisp apple, diced
– 1/2 cup diced red onion
– 1/2 cup walnut halves/pieces, toasted
– 1/2 cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese Crumbles
– 2 tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley, chopped

curry quinoa salad ingredientsNaturally, my chef was helping me in the kitchen (aka doing most of the work). I was busy supervising and taking pictures. It’s not that I can’t cook, it’s just that I am really slow and it takes me twice as long to chop and prep. Just look at those knife skillz.apple slicing - curry quinoa

 

Let’s Get Cookin’
– In a medium saucepan with a lid, prepare your quinoa according to the package directions with the cranberries and 3 teaspoons of curry powder. Cool completely. We like to put ours in another pan and stick it in the freezer for awhile to speed things along.cooling the curry– In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, oil, lemon juice and remaining 1 teaspoon curry powder; salt and pepper to taste if you want.
– Add the cooled quinoa and remaining ingredients to the yogurt mixture. Toss until it’s well combined and stick it in the fridge until it’s ready to be served.Curry Quinoa Salad

Now, to be 100% honest, I HATE curry. Like with a burning passion hate it. I actually wanted to leave it out for this recipe, but Jesse insisted that we at least needed to try it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I think the sweetness of the cranberries, apples and honey really balance out the flavor of the curry and I really liked it. We took it to a friend’s house this weekend for a party and people ate it on it’s own and also as a dip, so it’s a pretty versatile dish. You can find a printable version of the recipe, complete with Nutritional Info here.

Have you noticed any of the food trends affecting your cooking lately? How do you feel about curry? Love it? Hate it? I’d also love to see more curry recipes if you have them!

* I was not paid for this post. Farm Fresh supplied me with a gift card to purchase my ingredients, but all opinions are 100% my own.*
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