Quinoa Salad with honey toasted pine nuts and tender leeks – A simple yet slightly sweet and zesty quinoa salad that is perfect for any occasion! A great healthy side dish or even a simple lunch idea! This quinoa salad recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and vegan friendly. Freezable and ready to eat in 30 minutes.
I recently read a great article about successful people who live to create. Create stories (writers), food (chefs), recipes, products, whatever. They said their main focus was to create great content. No matter how PRETTY or how ENTICING this content looked, it was all about the value and purpose of that content. That was KEY to making it last and making it noticeable. I’d like to think that’s my process when it comes to recipe development and recipe sharing. Okay yes, I’m talking about a fancy schmancy gluten free quinoa salad here, but still…. there needs to be value behind why I created it and just how good the CONTENT of this recipe tastes. Otherwise it’s just another quinoa salad and Lord knows we have plenty of those on pinterest already. Am I right?
But here’s the thing. The main reason I CREATE is to share. Share health, share nourishment, share “THE LOVE” of gluten free food/recipes! I know I know, corny as it may seem, it’s the truth. There is nothing I like more than to make a good meal or dish and share it with others. So my friends, today, I have what I call, a LOVE dish. HONEY toasted pine nuts and leek quinoa salad (say that 3 times fast)!
Quinoa Salad – A Love Dish
A love dish is CREATED with love. For your loved ones. And the key ingredient here? Well.. I’ve toasted it with honey crystals to make it extra sweet. See –> more corniness, shocking!
Honey toasted pine nuts and leeks to be exact. And mixed in a zesty lemon quinoa salad .
Key CONTENT –> FLAVOR COMBO POWER!
In all seriousness, this gluten free honey toasted quinoa salad was made specially (out of love) for my family and family style. To serve around the table alongside a Sunday dinner together. Don’t you just love family style sides and salad?
Food is love in our house, and so is time spent together! I also thought it was a great way to show my appreciation for them. OH my goodness, they have done so much for me. For us!
Maybe it’s just me, but taking time to make a dish (sweet or savory) that you can share with others is similar to that of a thank you card or Valentine’s day card. The content being “made with love.” With Valentine’s day just around the corners, I was feeling all sentimental. And to be honest, I’m not the best at keeping up with thank you cards or any type of writing for that matter. I am, on the other hand, much better at making (creating and sharing) food or sending chocolate to show I care. Haha, go figure.
Now that I’ve talked your ear off about corny content. How about I get to the recipe?Print
Toasted Pine Nut and Leek Quinoa Salad
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (divided)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2/3 cup thinly diced/chopped leeks (root portion)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped shallot or onion
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 tsp honey (use agave nectar for vegan options)
- cracked pepper (to taste)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- 1 lemon (1-2 tbsp juice)
- First rinse your quinoa. Add 1 cup quinoa, 1/4 tsp salt, and you need about 2 cups liquid. Bring liquid to a boil with quinoa, then reduce heat to medium low and cover for 20 minutes or until fluffy. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine your chopped leeks (the roots), onion, pine nuts, honey, salt, pepper, and 1- 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss and then lay it flat on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread evenly across paper.
- Roast/toast for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove, toss the pine nuts and then return to oven for another 4 -5 minutes or a total of 10 -12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and combine (in a large bowl) cooked quinoa with honey toasted mixture.
- Mix in your minced garlic, cracked pepper, 1/2 tbsp more olive oil, and 1- 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice.
- Season with flaked sea salt or coarse sea salt and serve.
- Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 4 -5 days.
Keywords: quinoa, vegetarian, salad, gluten free, healthy, salad, dairy free
One of my favorite things about this quinoa salad was how light and refreshingly sweet it is. It pairs well with so many main ingredients too; chicken, fish, beef, or even vegan style with tempeh or tofu. It freezes well and can be used later for meal prep or to add to your family style dinner. Heck, just treat yourself and make it all for you! Quinoa is a plant based complete protein and pine nuts are a tasty source of healthy fats, which makes one balanced and wholesome lunch. In other words… I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS Honey Toasted QUINOA SALAD!
So tell me, if you could make anything for your family or loved ones, what would it be? Family style, right?