Monday, December 26, 2011

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad on Christmas Day

How was your holiday? Did you enjoy family time and good food? I know I sure did! Here is a brief recap;

Christmas Eve at Nick's mom's house

Nick, freaking out over his fantasy football scores (literally the entire Christmas Eve day)

The best Christmas tree ornaments, EVER!

And the prize for the most content and relaxed dog of the year goes to....the Japanese Shin; SAKE (as in the Japanese alcoholic beverage)

And our family must really think (ahem, know) we love beer, because they bought us a beer Christmas ornament, AND......

A beer-making kit with all the ingredients to make a couple special brews!!

Yesterday, Christmas day, we went to my aunt and uncle's house. Because my aunt, uncle, and cousin are all gluten free, and I try to limit my intake of wheat and gluten, I try to bring gluten-free recipes to most family gatherings. This year I brought a winter cilantro and cranberry quinoa salad (as well as some very non-gluten-free pepperoni bread for my family members who just love gluten!). The quinoa recipe was found on my favorite recipe website; I made a couple modifications based on what I had in my kitchen.

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped (I used all green pepper)
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped ( I used all green pepper)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds (I used toasted walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup minced carrots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Pour the water into a saucepan, and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, then pour in the quinoa, recover, and continue to simmer over low heat until the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Scrape into a mixing bowl, and chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  2. Once cold, stir in the green bell pepper, red onion, curry powder, cilantro, lime juice, sliced walnuts, carrots, and cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

It was delicious. I'll definitely be making it again.

For dessert on Christmas day I had some buckeyes and my favorite festive dessert; rocky road fudge! My aunt wants to make these buckeyes for our wedding. I had to taste two of them to make sure they were good enough for the special occasion ;)

Have a great week everyone. I'll be back Wednesday with a great appetizer idea for the New Year, and then Friday with another "Make This Your New Year's Resolution" post.


  1. merry christmas Gina! i love that pic of Nick checking on football and that pic of the doggie, sooooo cute!!!
    I had a wonderful celebration of Christmas and my birthday too, so so happy about everything. :)

  2. Cracking up because Nick and my 9 year old spend xmas eve the same way- focused on ipad studying fantasy football. Love buckeyes and the veggie ornaments. You're so lucky other family members are g-free, my family still doesn't get that I cannot eat trifle.

  3. Looks like you had a great Christmas! Love those ornaments; they really are perfect. And I hope you have fun with the beer making it, too!

    Your winter salad also looks great; I'm always a big fan of anything with quinoa and cilantro. :)

  4. I've yet to try quinoa. (Did I even spell it right?)

  5. omg you HAVE to have buckeyes at your wedding!!! i'm not coming unless you do ;) hahaha

    that quinoa salad is gorgeous and such a great addition to the xmas menu! i hope there's leftovers ;)

    omg i was SO MAD when burritos didn't win xfactor! his song with alanis was amazing and i'm pissed its not on itunes yet! you better keep me posted if good things happen for him. i know you and me are his biggest fans haha.

    have a FABULOUS new year lady!!! xoxoxo

  6. Hilarous pic of John...that is like my Brian during football games, I just cant talk, the focus is too intent!
    LOVE the ornaments, both the broccoli AND the beer!
    Quinoa dish looks awesome! Earthy, rustic and nutritious! YUM!

  7. Omigosh, I LOVE those veggie ornaments. How pretty!

    Recipe looks delish too!

  8. I'm in love with those ornaments! How cute!

    I also will be trying your Quinoa Salad soon- my hubby has a new found love for this grain :)

  9. I was so excited when I saw the title of this recipe, until I remembered that cranberry is a newly discovered migraine trigger. :( After reading it over though I suspect raisins will do the trick. Not quite as festive (or tasty imho), but I'm sure it will still be very good.