Quinoa with Dried Fruit & Nuts

This flavorful and colorful quinoa dish is an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber that can be served on its own or alongside fish and chicken. The combination of vegetables, dried fruits, and nuts makes this a microbiome winner that you will want to serve over and over again. It’s the perfect addition to any holiday menu!


Serves 8



1 cup raw quinoa

2 cups water

Sea salt to taste

1 clove garlic

Zest of 2 limes

2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped

1⁄2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1⁄4 teaspoon dry mustard

1⁄3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, finely chopped

8 dried apricots, finely chopped

1⁄2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1⁄2 cup toasted pine nuts



RINSE THE QUINOA IN a bowl of cold water. Bring the 2 cups water for the quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Season the water with salt. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes. Let the quinoa stand for 30 minutes or until cooled.


WHILE THE QUINOA IS cooling, make the salad dressing: combine the garlic, lime zest, lime juice, green onion, jalapeño, cumin, coriander, and dry mustard in a large bowl. Next, slowly whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Toss the cooked quinoa with 1⁄4 cup of the dressing.


ADD THE DRIED FRUITS, parsley, bell pepper, and pine nuts to the quinoa. Add enough of remaining dressing to coat the mixture. Season with salt to taste. Serve as a side dish or use it as a bed for an entrée.


Recipe by Elise Museles of Kale and Chocolate. First appeared in The Microbiome Solution (Penguin 2015).