Pomegranate Quinoa Salad with Mandarin Ginger Dressing

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien Entrées & Sides, Salads 18 Comments

It’s December! We had our first snowfall in Nelson yesterday and it was so beautiful to watch the huge snowflakes falling outside of my window as I photographed this Pomegranate Quinoa Salad! This salad has festive holiday flair and the snowy day was a perfect creative backdrop for its creation…..

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It’s December! We had our first snowfall in Nelson yesterday and it was so beautiful to watch the huge snowflakes falling outside of my window as I photographed this Pomegranate Quinoa Salad! This salad has festive holiday flair and the snowy day was a perfect creative backdrop for its creation.

 

Pomegranates, mandarin oranges, ginger and kale - perfect ingredients for a festive and healthy holiday salad!

The inspiration for this salad was sparked a few days ago when I was at the Kootenay Co-op, one of Nelson’s local health food stores.  The pomegranates and mandarin oranges were nestled next to each other on the produce display and instantly I knew that I needed to create a holiday salad featuring these festive ingredients!  Add ginger, kale, quinoa, toasted pecans… after some intuitive reaching for additional ingredients I headed home with a box full of groceries to experiment with in the kitchen!  This Pomegranate Quinoa Salad with Mandarin Ginger Dressing is what materialized…I think you’re going to love it!

 

Festive Holiday Pomegranate Quinoa Salad with Mandarin Ginger Dressing

This salad is perfect as an accompaniment to your holiday feast!  I like to balance out the more indulgent dishes that are typically served over the holidays with lighter sides that bring colour and nutrition to the table.

While the Pomegranate Quinoa Salad is a delicious complement to your holiday turkey, it also makes a tasty meal on it’s own anytime of the year! To add additional protein you can optionally top it with a grilled chicken breast or salmon filet.  It’s SO good!  The mandarins and pomegranate seeds explode with fresh juicy flavour and natural sweetness. 

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

Pomegranate seeds – healthy yet so delicious! 

This salad is packed with nutrition and it’s so refreshing and hydrating!  Pomegranates are a fruit that are commonly overlooked yet have numerous health benefits. The seeds are rich in immune boosting antioxidants and vitamins C and K. Pomegranate seeds are also one of the only foods to act as an aromatase inhibitor, which means that they help to prevent excessive estrogen production and that they can also be helpful for those with breast cancer. Women aren’t the only ones who benefit from aromatase inhibitors, and the compounds in pomegranate are also helpful for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer. Pomegranate seeds and their juice can also help to lower blood pressure and to decrease the formation of arterial plaques.  

Need I go on to convince you to enjoy this fruit on a more regular basis?

Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

The holidays aren’t an all or nothing food affair! You can feel fabulous while still enjoying holiday treats with just a bit of planning to incorporate healthy dishes like this into your meal plan!

I will be sharing additional recipes and tools to help keep you healthy through the holidays in the coming weeks that I know you’ll love! Please follow me on Facebook and join my inner circle so you don’t miss a beat! 

You will also want to check out my Top 10 Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas for $70 or less and enter my holiday giveaway!

 Enjoy!

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Pomegranate Quinoa Salad with Mandarin Ginger Dressing
This Pomegranate Quinoa Salad has festive flair and is perfect for the holidays! You'll love this delicious combination of juicy mandarin oranges, warming ginger dressing and refreshing pomegranate seeds!

Servings: 8 side salads or 4 large salads

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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
35 min
Salad
  1. 3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (approx. 1 cup dry)
  2. 1 bunch lacinato (black) kale
  3. 2/3 cup red onion, minced (approx. ½ of a medium onion)
  4. 1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)
  5. 4 small mandarin oranges
  6. ½ cup green onion, chopped (3-4 green onions)
  7. 1 cup pecans
Dressing
  1. 1 tsp orange zest (from 1 navel orange)
  2. 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from 1 medium sized navel orange)
  3. 1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
  4. 2 tsp honey (raw, unpasteurized)
  5. 2 tsp maple syrup
  6. 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  7. 1/3 cup olive oil
  8. 1/8 tsp black pepper
  9. 1/8 tsp Herbamare or sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and toast the pecans on a baking sheet for 4-5 minutes until very lightly browned. Once toasted, set them aside and chop them once cooled.
  2. Remove and discard the stems from the kale and chop the leaves very finely. Once the leaves are chopped, squeeze with your hands to soften before adding the kale to a large bowl.
  3. Open the pomegranate by cutting it in half with a large knife. Separate the seeds from the flesh and add the seeds to the large bowl with the kale.
  4. Peel the mandarin oranges and cut the orange in half horizontally to section the wedges in half. Separate each wedge and add it to the salad bowl.
  5. Add the red onion, chopped green onions, cooked quinoa and chopped pecans to the salad bowl.
  6. To make your dressing: Zest your orange using a fine grater before you then juice the same orange. Add the zest and the juice to a medium sized bowl along with all other dressing ingredients. Stir to combine.
  7. Add the dressing to the large salad bowl and stir well to combine. For maximal flavour, let the salad marinate in the dressing for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.
  8. The salad can be stored in the fridge for up to a few days and is best served slightly chilled. If you won't be serving the salad the same day, I suggest keeping the toasted pecans separate until serving so they will maintain their crunch.
Notes
  1. Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Vegan (if honey replaced with maple syrup)
Healthy Life Redesign http://www.healthyliferedesign.com/
 

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Festive Pomegranate Quinoa Salad with Mandarin Ginger Dressing - The perfect healthy lunch or holiday salad! Gluten and Dairy-Free!
Recipe created by:

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien

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Dr. Kimberley O’Brien is a Naturopathic Doctor with a medical practice in Calgary, Alberta. She is the founder of Healthy Life Redesign and creator of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan online program. Her mission is to help you own your health and live a life you love!


Comments 18

  1. Antioxidant rich pomegranates are just a wonder to me. They’re a beautiful addition to any salad and the health benefits are fantastic. I love the addition of ginger and looking forward to seeing how this flavor combination tastes! Out of kale but I have spinach on hand 🙂

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  2. That looks fantastic! Shifting the conception of a winter salad from want leaves with a few hothouse tomatoes is one of the best trends of the last decade or so.

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  3. Kimberley, this is my kind of salad! I love using quinoa for salads, and this one looks so festive, as well as yummy and nutritious. The Kootenay Co-op is a special place too. You make me miss Nelson.

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      Hi Colleen! Nelson is the best and I’m totally loving living here. Did you know that the Kootenay Co-op is moving to a brand new location and their grand opening is this week? Very exciting! You’re going to have to come back to visit Nelson very soon 🙂

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  4. During the time of year where everything can seem so dark and dreary… this is wonderfully bright and colorful! I’m on the lookout for easy lunch ideas to make ahead..this fits the bill!

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