Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cherries and Almonds

Today is the 3rd Thursday of the month, which means it's improv challenge day! The thing that I really like about this challenge is that I'm allowed to just make something up. Using other blog recipes is great too, because you come across all sorts of imaginative things, and I often sort of cheat with the other challenge by taking a recipe and completely changing it to make it my own. But luckily for this one I'm allowed to just make things up. The subject this month was cherries and almonds and for once I decided to not even attempt to create something sweet. I've gone with a salad, because a bit of fruit and some crunchy nuts always makes a salad better.


This particular salad also features quinoa for protein, some tangy feta cheese and spinach leaves, which are full of really good stuff like iron and folate. It is simple to make, it is really good to eat warm and it is just as good to eat cold the next day.



Cherry and Almond  Salad

1 can/jar black cherries, drained (save the liquid)
1/2 cup flaked almonds, toasted
200 grams baby spinach
150 grams feta cheese, cubed
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil

There are two things that take just a little bit of time to prepare for this salad. They are both very easy things to prepare so all together you should be no more than half an hour in making this salad.

The first thing to do is to toast the almonds. That will take about a half hour. You simply spread the ovens out onto an oven tray and bake them at 180 degrees celsius. After 15 minutes check on them and give them a bit of a stir. Bake them for a further 15 minutes and then take them out of the oven. They should smell really good and be a little darker in colour. Keep an eye on them because you don't want them to burn!

While the almonds are toasting, cook the quinoa according to the packet directions (simmer 1/2 cup of quinoa in 1 cup of water until the seeds have sprouted little tails). Drain the quinoa and set it aside.

Finally, put the salad together! Place everything into a large bowl and toss it all together. Have a taste and if you think the salad needs a bit more juice or flavour add a couple of tablespoons of the liquid that was reserved from the cherries. Then serve it and enjoy!


15 comments:

  1. Your salad looks amazing! Great pick for the Challenge!

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  2. That looks really, really good. I'm always looking for new ways to make quinoa!

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  3. I love that you went savory! This salad is something I'd eat for a whole week with no complaints!!

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  4. What a great recipe! I am looking forward to trying this!

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  5. YUM! Gonna hafta try this one! Thanks for the recipe.

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  6. I never even thought of a salad for this challenge, but I love this combination of flavors! Just wonderful!

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  7. What a beautiful salad! A very unique idea for the Improv Challenge! I love that your recipe doesn't call for turning on the oven (it's too hot for that). :)

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  8. I have never thought of using cherries in a salad but this looks absolutely amazing! Such a creative use of the challenge ingredients! : )

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  9. I had to check out another savory dish (Mine is the chicken at #3)! This looks like a salad I would LOVE!!

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  10. Wow, this looks great--and I love that you used quinoa in it!

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  11. Oh, that look's really delicious! I've been looking for more quinoa salad recipes so thanks for sharing this one! I made a salad, too -- #19 "Cherry Almond Chicken Salad" -- and I'd thought about using feta with the cherries, but I wasn't sure they'd go together. Good to know they do :)

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  12. Yum! I can see bringing this to work for lunch. Nice choice! :)

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  13. Beautiful salad! Looks really flavorful and super healthy.

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  14. What a great recipe to share!

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