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8 December 2013

Winter Salad with Crispy Quinoa & Date Dressing

Here we go! I can't believe we are gearing up for another winter season already. It might be freezing outside but we are still pigging out on all sorts of fresh greens and salads, ready to ward off any colds and flus soon to be coming our way.

This summer, I challenged myself to only buy our fruit anf veg from the local market. We were spoiled with the most gorgeous tomatoes and summer squash. And even though the strawberries didn't last long, we savored them while they were around and then developed a new love for apricots. I hardly spent any time inside the grocery store and we were eating like kings and queens.

This winter might not be quite as easy. Its getting colder outside and I find myself craving dates, oranges and pomegranetes - not quite the sort of produce you'll find growing the Alps. My organic market man is coming through, though, with the some of the most delicious fennel and the cutest little heads of lettuce I've ever seen. So, a mix of ingredients from close and far make this salad a winter winner, fesh and crunchy with just the right amount of creamiest.

I hope you are all cozy and warm whereever you are. Wishing you a happy start to the winter full of snow and fresh salads!

Winter Salad with Crispy Quinoa & Date Vinaigrette
I took a page out of Sprouted Kitchen's book with the crispy quinoa, and it adds a really nice texture to the salad. Rinse 1/2 cup quinoa and bring to a boil with just under a cup of water. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered until all the water is absorbed - about 10 to 15 minutes. This will yield 3/4 slightly under cooked quinoa for this salad.You want a drier quinoa so it will crisp up when you fry it.  Double of even triple the amounts to feed a crowd. Serves 4(ish?) as a large side salad. Vegan & Gluten Free.

  • 5 dates, pitted and chopped
  • Juice of 1 small orange (keep the pulp and use in salad!)
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oïl
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water, as needed

  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, completely cooled
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oïl
  • 2 oranges, peel and pith removed, sliced into wedges
  • 3 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (using a mandoline if possible)
  • 2-3 cups mixted lettuces
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

What to do
  1. Melt coconut oil in a frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add cooked quinoa and sautee for a few minutes until dry and crisp. Once the quinoa is crips and crackling, remove from heat, set aside and cool completely.
  2. Make the dressing: place dates, orange juice, olive oil and vinegar in a small blender and blend until almost smooth. I like to keep a few bits of dates for texture. Add water if it needs thinning. Season as needed.
  3. Toss greens, quinoa, orange and fennel in dressing. Top with toasted almonds and poppy seeds. Serve immediately. 


  1. What a beautiful salad. If it weren't snow packed and 2 degrees out, I'd run to the store and get everything I need to make this. I'll Pin it for another day. :) Thanks for a great recipe.


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