I love this salad. EVERY time I take it to a dinner party, picnic or potluck or have made it for a cooking class, it is a HIT! My husband, however, affectionately calls it “twigs and berries.” He won’t touch the stuff. I get it – the ingredient combination is a bit unusual, but oh-my-goodness are they delicious together! It is just such a great light, refreshing blend of flavors and textures. And, who doesn’t love the red, white, and blue colors this time of year?

Not that you need more reason’s to want to try this salad, but can we also talk about the super-loaded healthy ingredients? Fiber and protein-packed quinoa. √Check. Antioxidant-abundant blueberries, red pepper and parsley. √Check. Great monounsaturated fats in the walnuts and vinaigrette. √Check. Protein and calcium-filled feta cheese. √Check! Plus, sometimes I add leftover chicken breast to it to make an entire meal out of it. Truly, there are SOOO many healthy reasons to enjoy this recipe.

It is time for me to make another batch – and savor my twigs and berries all by myself. ; ). 

Blueberry Quinoa Salad
Serves 8 | Source: Hy-Vee recipe of month, Try-Foods International

Patriotic Blueberry Quinoa Salad www.herviewfromhome.com

All you need:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
4 oz. reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 to 1/3 cup light raspberry-walnut vinaigrette dressing

All you do:
1. In a heavy sauté pan, toast the quinoa on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water to boiling, then carefully pour water into the quinoa. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl; let cool.
3. Add blueberries, feta cheese, walnuts, parsley and bell pepper; mix gently. Drizzle dressing over salad; stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!

 blueberry quionoa salad side c


Shannon Frink

Shannon Frink is a registered dietitian and busy mom of two active boys. She knows the challenges of being a professional mom with the need to get a healthy, wholesome meal on the table – Quick! Shannon is the registered dietitian at Mary Lanning Heathcare Wellness department, where she has the unique opportunity to assist busy employees and community members to make healthy lifestyle choices! Shannon is Certified in Adult Weight Management by the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition and is an active member of the Nebraska Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition and the Central Nebraska District Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition, as well as, a volunteer in the community. Shannon enjoys following her kids many activities, camping, biking, skiing with her family, trying new recipes, and participating in fitness classes and leagues.