Holiday Cranberry-Orange Quinoa Salad

What’s this tiny golden grain you may ask? It’s called Quinoa – a wonderful nutrient-loaded, protein laden, gluten free little grain that’s gaining well-deserved popularity.

It’s easy to cook, exceptionally healthy and has a mild nutty flavour (though it is completely unrelated to a tree or ground nuts!), making really very tasty! Quinoa comes in many different colours, ranging from the more common red and golden through to black and pink! Why not include it in your Holiday feasting? It’s so versatile that you can use it in many dishes so you can be sure it’ll be a hit to children and adults alike!

Whether you’re already enjoying it or you haven’t yet tried this tasty grain, here is a colourful, easy Quinoa Salad recipe I love that’s ideal for the holiday season! I’ve incorporated Mandarin Oranges and Cranberries so it’s sure to disappear quickly!

An added benefit: this recipe is SO forgiving and simple - you can double or triple this recipe, serve it as is or in a wrap, atop greens, whatever - making it ideal as a snack, for a simple lunch or dinner, or to bring to potlucks and parties!

Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Mandarin Orange


  • 1½ Cups Filtered Water

  • ¾ Cup Quinoa (any colour: red, yellow, pink, black!)

  • Pinch Sea Salt


  • ½ Cup Dried or Fresh, sliced Cranberries

  • Segments from 2-3 Mandarin Oranges (to make 1¼ Cups segments) - remove any excess white pith, but peeling is unnecessary

  • Few Sprigs of Parsley, chopped

  • ½ C Slivered Almonds (optional)

  • 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds (optional)


  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice

  • 2-3 tbsp Fresh Orange Juice

  • Pinch Sea Salt

Cooking the Quinoa:

  • Saucepan method: Rinse the quinoa in a fine strainer and place into a large pot with the water and sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely in the pan.

  • Rice cooker method (easiest way by far!): Rinse the quinoa as above and place in rice cooker with the water and sea salt. Allow the quinoa to cook until the cooker shuts off, then remove from heat and let cool completely in the pot.

  • Note: You can make this a day ahead and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Putting it all together:

  • Whisk oil, vinegar lime and orange juice and salt together. Combine with the quinoa, parsley, cranberries and orange segments. Sprinkle the almond slivers and poppy seeds (if using) on top.

  • Serve and Enjoy!!

  • Note: This salad will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

In Health,

Dr Katarine Holewa, ND

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