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Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

Slow-cooker beef & barley soup is a cross between a French onion soup and a tomato soup, with tender beef – but not too much, lots of carrots and velvety barley.  The rich broth is flavored with thyme, red wine and soy sauce (the ingrediento segreto!).  

Grated Apple Yogurt Bowl

Grated Apple Yogurt Bowl

Have you ever tried Bircher muesli? This grated apple yogurt bowl is my oat-less version of Bircher muesli, made with an apple, yogurt, almond butter and lots of cinnamon.   It’s a great make-and-go breakfast or lunch and doesn’t require any soaking time like overnight oats, 

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

In preparing for a different sort of Halloween this year, my daughters brainstormed some treat ideas to replace the standard trick-or-treating tradition. There were pleas for these candied apples, from a Pioneer Woman cooking show the girls watched with me last Thanksgiving. Although beautiful, we’re not big white chocolate fans around here (OK, I’m not). I also don’t know what’s really in those “chocolate discs”. After settling on cupcakes, my 6 and 8-year-old daughters dreamed up this combo of cinnamon cupcakes and pumpkin frosting. And, guess what? They’re…dreamy!

Moist cinnamon cupcakes sit beneath a large kiss of pumpkin cream cheese frosting, spiced with more cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. These are also a fun deviation from the classic pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

I’m not sure there’s anything better than going door to door, collecting handfuls of candy, so I realize what I’m up against. But, these cinnamon cupcakes with pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting coupled with the promise of endless movies at home may be a decent consolation. We will see!

Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

The combination of cinnamon cake and pumpkin frosting is unbelievable!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon cupcakes, pumpkin cream cheese frosting, pumpkin frosting
Servings: 24

Ingredients

Cinnamon Cupcakes

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp cinnamon
    • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 4 eggs at room temperature
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups whole milk

    Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin unsweetened (no pumpkin pie filling)
    • 3 cups powdered sugar sifted to remove lumps
    • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • cinnamon-sugar for dusting on top

    Instructions

    Cinnamon Cupcakes

      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit center racks in the oven. Line 2 muffin tins with paper cups.
      • Stir both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl with a whisk until thoroughly combined.
      • Beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed using a paddle attachment, until creamy and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping sides of the bowl in between. Beat in vanilla extract.
      • Alternate adding flour mixture and milk, starting with 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half of the milk, followed by the second third of the flour, the last of the milk, and, finally, the remaining flour mixture and beating until combined.
      • Divide batter evenly among 24 cupcakes, filling 2/3 of the way. I use an ice cream scoop to guage the amount in each cup.
      • Bake cupcakes for about 18-22 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick comes out clean.
      • Transfer muffin pans to cooling rack. Fully cool cupcakes before frosting.

      Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

      • On medium-high speed, using a whisk attachment, beat room-temperature butter, cream cheese, and pumpkin until creamy and well combined.
      • Add sifted powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and vanilla and continue mixing until fluffy and fully combined. At this point the frosting can be refrigerated for about 20 minutes if you would like it to be firmer for frosting.
      • Set piping bag with tip into a tall glass and open bag fully. Use a rubber spatula to fill the piping bag about 2/3 of the way full. Pipe cupcakes and refill bag as needed, until all cupcakes are frosted. I used an 808 Ateco tip. Or, you can definitely use a butter knife as well. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar.

      Sweet Potato Burritos

      Sweet Potato Burritos

      With such a simple list of ingredients, it’s surprising how addicting these sweet potato burritos are. The sweet potatoes, combined with almost-caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, cumin, oregano and chili powder, have that crave-worthy sweet and savory flavor profile. In fact, I find the pronounced flavor 

      Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

      Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

      Even though school is already back in session in Colorado, I can’t let the last weeks of summer slip by without sharing one of my favorite summer salad staples: caprese salad with balsamic reduction! Caprese is made with fresh mozzarella, juicy summer tomatoes, fresh basil 

      Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

      Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

      This is the quick bread I make for breakfast almost once a week in the summer, when zucchini handouts are easy to come by (thank you, family and friends!) and we want something easy and sweet to munch on in the mornings. It also makes a wonderful snack. I’m sure you don’t need me to list all the ways you can blow through a loaf of this delicious double chocolate zucchini bread!  The best part about this recipe is that it makes two loaves, one for you and one to share with a neighbor. Or, freeze one and pull it out in a few weeks. 

      sliced chocolate zucchini bread with butter

      Full of two kinds of chocolate and lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, this recipe was given to me by my friend Mary when we lived in Oregon.  I’ve tweaked it over the years, reducing the amount of oil and sugar and swapping in whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour. Seriously, you would never know this is made entirely with whole wheat pastry flour, but this bread so much more nutritious than if it were made with all-purpose flour.  For me, that means I can justify chocolate zucchini bread as breakfast on an average Tuesday morning in our house.

      What is the difference between whole wheat pastry flour and whole wheat flour?

      Whole wheat pastry flour, also known as white whole-wheat flour, is ground from soft white wheat instead of the usual red wheat. It has a lower protein content than whole wheat flour so it’s well suited for pastries like biscuits, quick breads, pie crusts, cookies, pancakes, etc. It’s more nutrient dense than white flour because it hasn’t been refined to remove the bran and the germ but it still yields pastries with a desirable, tender texture. 

      A note on loaf pan sizing…

      This recipe calls for 2 – 8.5 by 4.5 loaf pans but you can also use a 9 by 5 size. You’ll just want to reduce the baking time by about 10 minutes and start checking at 45 minutes. If you’re not sure which size you have, pull out a ruler, and measure the broad, top portion to double check. This is important to get the time right!

      4.5 by 9.5 size loaf pan
      9 by 5 size loaf pan

      Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread – makes 2 loaves 

      4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
      1 cup sugar
      ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
      2 teaspoons baking soda
      ½ teaspoon baking powder
      ½ teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      ½ teaspoon nutmeg
      1/4 cup plain yogurt
      8 tablespoons butter
      ¼ cup avocado oil (or coconut or walnut oil)
      1 ½ cup buttermilk
      3 eggs
      2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
      1 cup chocolate chips

      Prep

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle racks. Butter two 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pans.

      shredded zucchini

      2. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy and the butter is visibly lighter in color. Add eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.

      creamed butter, sugar, and oil

      3. Stir together dry ingredients with a whisk to make sure they’re fully combined, including the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

      dry ingredients for chocolate zucchini bread

      4. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, yogurt, vanilla and zucchini. 

      5. Stir in 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, followed by ½ of the zucchini mixture, another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, the remaining zucchini mixture, and finally, the last of the dry ingredients, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl between each addition. Try not to overmix. 

      6. Gently stir in the chocolate chips (these are my favorite!).

      Bake

      7. Pour into prepared loaf pans as evenly as possible. Place on loaf on the upper-middle rack and the other on the lower-middle rack. Bake for 55-65 minutes, rotating loaves from bottom to top and top to bottom halfway through bake time.

      8. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and removing to the cooling rack to cool completely. Slice with a serrated knife.

      9. Store this bread at room temperature for 2-3 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days. It freezes beautifully. Just wrap it in foil and place in a re-sealable bag. Thaw at room temperature overnight or pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes to melt the chocolate chips. 

      A few notes…

      1. For Muffins: Line a muffin tin (or 2!) with muffin liners or grease a muffin pan and fill a little more than 2/3 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes. Makes about 30 muffins.
      whole sliced loaf of chocolate zucchini bread
      slice of double chocolate zucchini bread with butter
      Print Recipe
      5 from 1 vote

      Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

      Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: Two kinds of chocolate + grated zucchini + nutmeg & cinnamon
      Prep Time15 mins
      Cook Time1 hr
      Total Time1 hr 15 mins
      Course: Breakfast
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: chocolate zucchini bread, zucchini bread
      Servings: 8

      Ingredients

      • 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour aka white whole wheat flour
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 1/2 tsp baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
      • 1/4 cup avocado oil walnut or coconut oil also good
      • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
      • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
      • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
      • 3 eggs
      • 2 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 cup chocolate chips
      • 2 cups shredded zucchini about 2 small zucchini

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle racks. Butter two 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pans.
      • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy and the butter is visibly lighter in color. Add eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.
      • Stir together dry ingredients with a whisk to make sure they’re fully combined, including the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. 
      • In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, yogurt, vanilla and zucchini. 
      • Stir in 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, followed by ½ of the zucchini mixture, another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, the remaining zucchini mixture, and finally, the last of the dry ingredients, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl between each addition. Try not to overmix. 
      • Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
      • Pour into prepared loaf pans as evenly as possible. Place on loaf on the upper-middle rack and the other on the lower-middle rack. Bake for 55-65 minutes, rotating loaves from bottom to top and top to bottom halfway through bake time.
      • Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and removing to the cooling rack to cool completely. Slice with a serrated knife.
      • Store this bread at room temperature for 2-3 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days. It freezes beautifully. Just wrap it in foil and place in a re-sealable bag. Thaw at room temperature overnight or pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes to melt the chocolate chips. 

      Notes

      1. For Muffins: Line a muffin tin (or 2!) with muffin liners or grease a muffin pan and fill a little more than 2/3 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes. Makes about 30 muffins.
      2. You can use 2-9X5 loaf pans instead. Just reduce the cooking time by about 10 minutes. You’ll want to start checking them around 45 minutes. 
      Fresh Peach Pie

      Fresh Peach Pie

      Last year, my mom probed me to dig through some of my Grandpa Norm’s old recipes to locate a peach pie recipe she remembered.  I didn’t remember eating it before, but with a counter full of ripe Palisade peaches, it seemed like a worthy endeavor.  I’m proud 

      Spicy Banh Mi Chicken & Quinoa Salad

      Spicy Banh Mi Chicken & Quinoa Salad

      Grilled chicken and quinoa meet a colorful bunch of vegetables including radishes, cucumber, serrano peppers, carrots, green onions and avocado in this spicy and beautiful summer salad.  The dressing for this spicy Banh Mi chicken & quinoa salad is bright, slightly sweet and ever so fresh 

      Margherita Pizza

      Margherita Pizza

      A classic, homemade margherita pizza topped with easy, blender tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, red pepper flakes and lots of basil.

      Friday nights have become a weekly pizza and movie night around here.  The tradition started with frozen Trader Joe’s pizzas interspersed with an occasional Friday night pizza pick-up, and a night “off” from cooking, but it’s morphed into all kinds of amazing homemade variations over the past 4 months, in trying to stretch our budget and our ability to make due with fewer trips around town.  I’m not ashamed to admit I now look forward to Fridays even more as we test different combos of homemade pizza, even though it’s no longer a night off.

      Now that store-bought yeast is plentiful again and that challenge has been eliminated, the summertime heat presents a new hurdle for our weekly tradition: turning on the oven to its max temp when it’s 90 some degrees outside.  Enter this incredible grilled margarita pizza! (The oven still turns out a beautiful margherita pizza, so don’t shy away from this recipe if you’re not near a grill or not trying this pizza in the middle of summer.)

      sliced and served Margherita pizza

      With fresh basil now prolific, and tomatoes making their entrance into the season, we’ve fallen in love with this classic margarita pizza, adapted from Bonnie Ohara’s Bread Baking For Beginners. Here’s how to make it:

      Make the dough:

      Scale out your ingredients for more accuracy into four separate bowls, using small bowls for the salt and yeast, and larger bowls for the water and flour. Get the five-year-old to help and practice measuring with some big numbers! You’ll need 8 grams of instant or quick-rise yeast, 10 grams of salt, 375 grams of water (about 75 degrees warm, or warmer if your air temperature is cooler in your house…you want your dough temperature to be 76 degrees), and 500 grams of all-purpose flour. If you don’t have a scale, you’ll need about 2 ¼ t. instant yeast, 1 ½ t. salt, 3 ¾ cup flour, and 1 2/3 cup water. Since we’re in Colorado, we made some high altitude adjustments for the dough: reduce the yeast to 5 grams (1 1/2 t.) and increase the water to 400 grams (1 3/4 cup).

      Pour the water into a large bowl and gently sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. You’ll start to see it activate as it swells. Let it sit for a few minutes. Pour the flour on top of the yeast & water, and lastly, add the salt.  Mix until well incorporated with a wooden spoon. It will be sticky. Let it sit for 20 minutes.

      Make the blender tomato sauce: 

      Pulse 1-pound cherry tomatoes (or 1-14.5-ounce can of no salt added diced or crushed tomatoes) with a scant ¼ cup of good extra virgin olive oil until it’s to your desired consistency. Add ½ teaspoon of sea salt. 

      Fold the Dough:

      With your hands, fold the dough over on itself 8-10 times, turning it around as you fold. It will be sticky and messy, but you want to develop the gluten some. Let that sit, covered with a kitchen towel, for 1½ hours. 

      Check the dough:

      If it’s grown considerably and looks bubbly and well risen, you’re ready. If not, give it another 30 minutes. You can refrigerate the dough at this point until you’re about 30 minutes from when you want to eat.

      Prepare your grill:

      Heat grill to at least 450 degrees or preheat your oven to 450 or hotter (lowest oven rack setting) and place your pizza stone in the grill or oven while it heats. Your stone should be on grill or in the oven at temp for at least 30 minutes.  

      Shape your dough:

      Working on a generously floured counter, divide dough in half and work with the first half. Shape into a ball with your hands and flatten on the counter, making sure it won’t stick to the counter while it rests. Shape the second half of the dough into a ball, and then gently flatten into a disc shape as well. Place a floured towel over the shaped discs to rest for 30 minutes while your grill/oven heats.

      Flour a pizza peel or the back of a large cookie sheet.  Lift the first disc in your floured hands and spread it gently on the peel, making a bigger circle and forming a crust around the edge by dimpling around the outside with your fingers.  Pick up the dough and stretch it over your fists, alternating and letting gravity stretch it, being careful not to let it get too thin in the middle.  You want to stretch it to a diameter of about 12 inches before placing the dough onto the pizza peel. Give the dough a little shake on the peel to ensure it will slide off onto the grill easily. If it doesn’t move easily, lift the edges and add more flour underneath. 

      Top your pizza:

      Spoon the tomato sauce over the dough, followed by the fresh mozzarella, red pepper flakes, fresh basil leaves, and finally, a light drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse kosher or sea salt.

      uncooked margherita pizza

      Transfer to the grill:

      Working quickly, slide your pizza onto the edge of the hot pizza stone on the grill or in the oven by giving it a little shake (a spatula can help guide the pizza).  Once the edge of the pizza is in line with the edge of the stone, pull the peel away quickly and your pizza should slide fully onto stone.

      margherita pizza being transferred to grill

      Grill/Bake your pizza:

      Watch it closely. Ours took about 8-9 minutes, but it could take up to 16 minutes, depending on the heat intensity. 

      sliced margherita pizza
      sliced and served Margherita pizza
      Print Recipe
      5 from 1 vote

      Margherita Pizza

      The perfect, pillowy crust + garden tomatoes & basil + fresh mozzarella. A delicious classic!
      Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
      Cook Time15 mins
      Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
      Course: dinner
      Cuisine: Italian
      Keyword: grilled margherita pizza, grilled pizza, homemade pizza, margherita pizza, pizza
      Servings: 6

      Ingredients

      Dough

      • 8 grams instant or quick-rise yeast 2 1/4 teaspoons
      • 375 grams water 1 2/3 cup – about 75 degrees, or warmer if your kitchen is cool (you want your dough temperature to be 76 degrees
      • 500 grams all-purpose flour about 3 3/4 cups
      • 10 grams salt 1 1/2 teaspoons

      Fresh Tomato Blender Pizza Sauce

      • 1 lb cherry tomatoes or 1-14.5 ounce can of no salt added diced or crushed tomatoes
      • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil scant (a little less)
      • 1/2 tsp sea salt

      Pizza Toppings

      • fresh mozarella
      • sea salt to taste
      • red pepper flakes to taste
      • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves or to taste
      • extra virgin olive oil to taste

      Instructions

      • Scale out your ingredients for more accuracy into four separate bowls, using small bowls for the salt and yeast, and larger bowls for the water and flour.
      • Pour the water into a large bowl and gently sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. You’ll start to see it activate as it swells. Let it sit for a few minutes. Pour the flour on top of the yeast & water, and lastly, add the salt.  Mix until well incorporated with a wooden spoon. It will be sticky. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
      • Meanwhile, make your tomato sauce. Pulse 1-pound cherry tomatoes (or 1-14.5-ounce can of no salt added diced or crushed tomatoes) with your olive oil until it’s to your desired consistency. Add ½ teaspoon of sea salt. 
      • With your hands, fold the dough over on itself 8-10 times, turning it around as you fold. It will be sticky and messy, but you want to develop the gluten some. Let that sit, covered with a kitchen towel, for 1½ hours. 
      • If it’s grown considerably and looks bubbly and well risen, you’re ready. If not, give it another 30 minutes. You can refrigerate the dough at this point until you’re about 30 minutes from when you want to eat.
      • Heat grill to at least 450 degrees or preheat your oven to 450 or hotter (lowest oven rack setting) and place your pizza stone in the grill or oven while it heats. Your stone should be on grill or in the oven at temp for at least 30 minutes.  
      • Working on a generously floured counter, divide dough in half and work with the first half. Shape into a ball with your hands and flatten on the counter, making sure it won’t stick to the counter while it rests. Shape the second half of the dough into a ball, and then gently flatten into a disc shape as well. Place a floured towel over the shaped discs to rest for 30 mins.
      • Flour a pizza peel or the back of a large cookie sheet.  Lift the first disc in your floured hands and spread it gently on the peel, making a bigger circle and forming a crust around the edge by dimpling around the outside with your fingers.  Pick up the dough and stretch it over your fists, alternating and letting gravity stretch it, being careful not to let it get too thin in the middle.  You want to stretch it to a diameter of about 12 inches before placing the dough onto the pizza peel. Give the dough a little shake on the peel to ensure it will slide off onto the grill easily. If it doesn’t move easily, lift the edges and add more flour underneath. 
      • Spoon the tomato sauce over the dough, followed by the fresh mozzarella, red pepper flakes, fresh basil leaves, and finally, a light drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse salt.
      • Working quickly, slide your pizza onto the edge of the hot pizza stone on the grill or in the oven by giving it a little shake (a spatula can help guide the pizza).  Once the edge of the pizza is in line with the edge of the stone, pull the peel away quickly and your pizza should slide fully onto stone.
      • Watch it closely. Ours took about 8-9 minutes, but it could take up to 16 minutes, depending on the heat intensity. 

      Notes

      1. Recipe adapted from Bonnie Ohara’s Bread Baking for Beginners
      2. High altitude adjustments! Reduce the amount of yeast to 5 grams (about 1 1/2 teaspoon), and increase the water to 400 grams (about 1 3/4 cups).
      Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie “Milkshakes”

      Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie “Milkshakes”

      Banana peanut butter smoothie “milkshakes” are a staple in our house.  They’re full of protein with yogurt and peanut butter, have no added sugar thanks to the magical sweetness of a banana, and my kids think they’re drinking a milkshake. It’s the recipe I go to 

      Blueberry Streusel Pie

      Blueberry Streusel Pie

      My favorite summertime pie, blueberry streusel pie, is probably also my favorite blueberry recipe. Fresh, summer blueberries cook down to a gorgeous purple, jammy confection, studded with a generous amount of cinnamon-sugar streusel and balanced by a buttery, flaky crust. Soooooo good!  My grandma Tina 

      Lemony Quinoa Salad with Almonds & Dried Cherries

      Lemony Quinoa Salad with Almonds & Dried Cherries

      Lemony quinoa salad with almonds and dried cherries is a wonderful make-ahead summer salad, perfect for backyard and picnic dinners alike. It’s best served at room temperature and packs well, which always makes things easy, plus, it’s gluten-free and vegan. The leftovers taste wonderful over a bed of lightly dressed mixed greens or spinach, and I’ll bet you will have no trouble finding plenty of convenient times to snack on this throughout the week if you want to be bold and make a double batch!

      With the parks in our city reopening in the past week, it feels like a piece of summer has been restored! Consistently warm (hot even!) weather, coupled with a need to be outside, has changed things up in a good way around here. We’ve been taking picnic breakfasts, lunches and dinners to all sorts of parks around town, and even up into the foothills. As much as I love the usual peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there are times when that standard just doesn’t cut it. That’s where this lemony quinoa salad with almonds and dried cherries comes in. It’s filling and full of protein with almonds and quinoa, plus it gives off a summery vibe with the dried cherries and bright, lemony dressing. If quinoa isn’t your favorite, it’s also delicious with orzo or couscous. 

      Lemony Quinoa Salad with Almonds & Dried Cherries (Inspired by Weeknight by Williams-Sonoma) – serves 4

      Ingredients:
      2 lemons
      4 T. olive oil
      small yellow onion, chopped
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      1 ½ t. ground cumin
      ¾ t. ground cinnamon
      1 cup dried cherries, chopped
      3 cups water (can also use chicken broth, but reduce the salt)
      1 t. salt
      2 cups quinoa, rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
      ¼ cup cilantro, minced
      ½ cup sliced almonds

      1. Toast the almonds in a stainless steel frying pan over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.
      2. Grate the zest from the two lemons and squeeze the juice from both as well (should be about ¼ cup of juice).
      3. Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, cumin and cinnamon and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, dried cherries and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until quinoa is cooked through. 
      4. Pour cooked quinoa into large bowl and fluff with a fork, while gently stirring in the cilantro and toasted almonds. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
      5. Serve warm or refrigerate until 1 hour before you plan to eat.
      plated lemony almond and dried cherry quinoa
      Print Recipe
      5 from 1 vote

      Lemony Quinoa Salad with Almonds & Dried Cherries

      Easy, make-ahead summer salad perfect for picnics and backyard dinners alike. Toasted almonds, dried cherries & lemon zest pair with cumin & cinnamon. So delicious!
      Prep Time5 mins
      Cook Time30 mins
      Total Time35 mins
      Course: Salad
      Cuisine: Mediterranean
      Keyword: gluten free salad, picnic salad, quinoa salad, summer salad, vegan salad
      Servings: 4

      Ingredients

      • 2 lemons
      • 4 tbsp olive oil
      • small yellow onion chopped
      • 3 cloves garlic minced
      • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
      • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1 cup dried cherries chopped
      • 3 cups water (or sub. chicken broth but reduce salt)
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 2 cups quinoa rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
      • 1/4 cup cilantro minced
      • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

      Instructions

      • Toast the almonds in a stainless steel frying pan over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.
      • Grate the zest from the two lemons and squeeze the juice from both as well (should be about ¼ cup of juice).
      • Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, cumin and cinnamon and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, dried cherries and water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the quinoa and reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until quinoa is cooked through. 
      • Pour cooked quinoa into large bowl and fluff with a fork, while gently stirring in the cilantro and toasted almonds. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
      • Serve warm or refrigerate until 1 hour before you plan to eat.

      Notes

      Recipe inspired by Weeknight by Williams-Sonoma