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Simple Quinoa and Broccoli Salad

If you're looking for a fresh, healthy, and flavorful dish, this quinoa salad is the perfect choice. Packed with a variety of textures and tastes, it's not only delicious but also nutritious. Ideal for a light lunch, a side dish, or even a quick snack, this salad is sure to become a favorite in your household.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Total Calories: 2163 calories (540 Calories per 4 servings)

Ingredients:(Prices based on servings used)

  • Kosher salt - $0.10 (based on small usage)

  • Quinoa - $2.00 (half of the 1 lb bag)

  • Lemon - $0.50 (one whole lemon)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil - $0.75 (3 tablespoons from 16 oz bottle)

  • Dijon mustard - $0.50 (3 tablespoons from 8 oz jar)

  • Honey - $0.40 (2 tablespoons from 12 oz bottle)

  • Apple cider vinegar - $0.30 (2 tablespoons from 16 oz bottle)

  • Freshly ground black pepper - $0.10 (based on small usage)

  • Broccoli - $2.00 (one large bunch)

  • Apple - $0.80 (one medium apple)

  • Sharp Cheddar - $2.00 (half of 8 oz block)

  • Toasted pecans - $3.00 (¾ cup from 8 oz bag)

  • Dried cranberries - $1.50 (½ cup from 6 oz bag)

Total Cost for Ingredients Used: $13.95

Estimated Full Purchase Cost to Buy All Ingredients: $41.80

Cost Per Meal:

  • For 4 servings: $3.49 per meal

  • For 6 servings: $2.33 per meal


Step 1: Cooking the Quinoa Start by bringing a medium-sized pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat, generously seasoning it with salt. Add the rinsed quinoa, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the quinoa is plump and tender, which should take about 15 minutes. Once cooked, drain the quinoa using a fine-mesh sieve, rinse with cold water, and allow it to drain thoroughly.

Step 2: Preparing the Dressing While the quinoa is cooking, zest the lemon into a large mixing bowl and then cut the lemon in half. In the bowl, combine the lemon zest, extra-virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar, along with the juice from half the lemon. Whisk everything together until well-blended. Season the dressing with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Step 3: Prepping the Vegetables and Cheese Trim and peel the stem of the broccoli, removing any dry ends, and finely chop the entire broccoli head. Core the apple and finely chop both the apple and the sharp Cheddar cheese. Add the chopped broccoli, apple, and cheese to the bowl with the dressing, tossing everything together to coat well.

Step 4: Combining All Ingredients Add the cooked and drained quinoa to the bowl along with the toasted pecans and dried cranberries. Toss everything together until all ingredients are evenly combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed. Store the salad in the refrigerator, where it will keep fresh for up to three days.


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