I love this time of year.

After coming out of the East Coast winter that never seemed to end, I’m excited to see the blossoms blooming, hear birds chirping as I wake up, get back into running and hiking, and lighten up my meals.

As the weather warms up, I find my body craving lighter, more refreshing foods. I love my soups, stews and winter squashes (see you in the fall, butternut!), but the bright colors of springtime foods draw me in!

Today’s salad is a new take on a salad I first tried about two years ago. I swapped out a few ingredients and ended up with a colorful bowl of tart, crunchy, sweet, and citrus-y goodness.

I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

cran apple quinoa salad


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed until water runs clear
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 thumb-size piece kombu (optional!)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (I use raw honey)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced tart apple, such as Granny Smith
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, lightly toasted
  • Coarse sea salt and pepper


  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Fill medium saucepan with 2 cups water and add quinoa and kombu. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Once water is just barely absorbed, remove from heat and leave covered for 5-7 minutes. Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork. Spread quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and prevent it from clumping together. This last step is optional but really helps!
  2. Whisk honey, lemon juice, salt and olive oil together in a small jar. Set aside.
  3. Put cooled quinoa in a large bowl and add apples, celery, cranberries, parsley, scallions and chopped almonds. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine evenly. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste.