Cooking with fresh cranberries at this time of year just feels right. Their vibrant ruby color creates a festive mood. In this case, paired with tri-color quinoa, apple and a touch of honey, they help create a healthy, protein-packed dish that is not only a delicious side dish for your dinner or holiday table, but also makes for a great light lunch option too.
The acidity of the lemon juice and sweetness of the honey create a nice balance to the tartness of the fresh cranberries. I use an orange-essence infused honey to heighten the citrus notes of the lemon, but traditional honey will do fine as a substitute.
Cranberry Apple Quinoa Pilaf with Orange Honey
- 1 cup tri-color quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons white onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Macintosh apple, finely chopped
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon orange-essence infused honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a medium-sized saucepan, heat 1 cup water and 1 cup of dry quinoa. Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the apple and fresh cranberries. Cook, frequently stirring around the pan, until the cranberries just burst.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa and fruit mixture. Pour on the lemon juice. Season with rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Drizzle orange-infused honey over the top and serve warm or at room temperature.