Packed with fall flavor, this curried quinoa salad with apples is a tasty vegetarian lunch! You'll love the curried yogurt dressing paired with crunchy sweet apples! Make the quinoa salad in advance and serve over greens when ready to eat.
My Bernese Mountain Dog, Savannah, is the best dietitian's dog. Fruits and vegetables have always been her favorite. While she has never turned down a pupperoni (or any food for that matter) she really goes crazy for things like carrot tops, the stem of heads of lettuce, and potato peelings…it's so weird.
Her absolute favorite food? Apples. She's even learned the word, which has become my go to call when she manages to sneak out of the backyard. She doesn't respond to her name, but yell "want an apple?" and she'll be back in our yard in two seconds flat. Savannah even recognizes the crunching noise of biting into a fresh apple. It's enough to wake her from a deep slumber and all of a sudden, she's at our feet begging!
Since she is our furry child, her love of apples is one healthy eating habit we're happy to encourage, so we always pick up extra for her at the grocery store. This is our favorite time of year to get apples, which are at their peak ripeness in the fall. Right now, our local market is overflowing with local heirloom varieties ranging from tart to sweet - although we keep the fancy ones to ourselves!
While apples are tasty for snacking and desserts (hello apple pie this Thursday!), I love to use them in savory dishes, like this curried quinoa salad with apples. The combination of apples and curry is a classic one in chicken salad, so I created this vegetarian version using quinoa. If you're making this for lunch, prepare the quinoa salad in advance and store in the fridge. Pack the spinach topped with quinoa salad separate from the dressing. Then pack an apple to slice over your salad when ready to eat, or toss your apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Curry Quinoa Salad with Apples
1 cup plain, full fat yogurt
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 small minced garlic clove
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 large shallot, peeled and minced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
6 ounce bag baby spinach
2 large apples, cored and chopped or sliced
First, make the dressing. Whisk all dressing ingredients together, season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large pot, mix together quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes until tender and water is absorbed. Let sit 5 minutes to finish steaming, then remove lid and set aside to cool to room temperature.
When quinoa is cool, toss with shallot, golden raisins, walnuts and parsley. Divide spinach between four plates. Top with quinoa salad and apple slices. Serve drizzled with curry yogurt dressing.