This year, make sure your holiday side dishes include a fresh, healthy option. Try using traditional ingredients in a non-traditional way, like in this Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Orange. Cranberries are full of antioxidants, naturally tart, and give this salad a terrific sweet and sour flavor. Quinoa is high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete-protein source. The salad is lightly sweetened with honey and it is full of healthy ingredients like fresh cranberries, oranges, mint, and walnuts for crunch.

Plus it’s gluten and dairy free!


1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 cup cranberries, fresh

2 TBS olive oil

1 tsp honey

2 TBS orange zest

3 small seedless oranges

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped


Rinse the quinoa well with water. In a medium saucepan. Bring 2 cups of water to boil.

Add rinsed quinoa to boiling water. Return to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the water is gone and quinoa is cooked, about 12-15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, pulse the cranberries, olive oil and honey in a food processor to coarsely chop.

Zest the oranges, then peel and chop the flesh into bite sized pieces.

When the quinoa is done, transfer it to a mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Gently stir in grated orange zest, orange pieces, cranberry mixture, chopped walnuts, and mint.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.