When I dreamed up this Superfoods Quinoa, Pomegranate and Brussels Sprouts Salad, I was in the mood for some nourishing, delicious and satisfying.
I always try to use seasonal ingredients in my recipes – pomegranates, grapefruit, and brussels sprouts are all harvested during the fall months here in the U.S. Serendipitously, these three flavors pair incredibly well.
Let’s look at each of them individually.
If I were a fruit, I’d be jealous of the pomegranate.
To start, it’s just plain beautiful. Behold. Am I lying?
But looks aren’t everything, and the pomegranate delivers in substance – it’s chock full of antioxidants called polyphenols, which help fight free radicals in the body and aid in protecting the body against disease. Pomegranate is also quite high in Vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant, as well as vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and phosphorus. If you’re interested in reading up on the health benefits of pomegranate, I found this article very informative.
Brusselss sprouts are also considered a superfood, and are rich in vitamin C and vitamin K, in addition to other nutrients, including folate, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids. Whoa! I’ll have some of that, please!
Like all citrus, grapefruit is high in vitamin C, of course, but it’s also a great source of vitamin A, which is good for the skin and promotes healthy vision.
A healthy fat, almonds are credited with reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol, making them a great part of a healthy diet. Almonds also contain healthy amounts of fiber, magnesium and vitamin E.
And let’s not forget quinoa. This powerful ancient grain is one of the most protein-rich foods in the world, making it an ideal part of a vegetarian diet. Quinoa also contains all nine essential amino acids, is high in fiber, iron, and antioxidants. You can read about the 7 Benefits of Quinoa in this article.
The whole salad is tossed in a refreshing, slightly sweet, apple cider vinaigrette with a touch of garlic. I know you’re going to love it.
I’ve been dreaming of Superfoods Quinoa, Pomegranate and Brussels Sprouts Salad for months, just waiting for the pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, and grapefruit to come into season. I developed this recipe a few years ago (before I started blogging) and jotted down the ingredients along with a photo in a Facebook post so I could find it later. I literally scrolled through hundreds of posts to find it so I could remember all the goodness and share it here. So glad I had the sense to save it in the first place.
Superfoods Quinoa, Pomegranate and Brussels Sprouts Salad would make a great healthy addition to your Thanksgiving spread, but it’s also an ideal lunch option. I’ve had a batch of it in the fridge for the past several days, making it easy to reach for a healthy lunch between sitting at my computer, cooking, and shooting.
I hope you enjoy my Superfoods Quinoa, Pomegranate and Brussels Sprouts Salad!
Superfoods Quinoa, Pomegranate and Brussels Sprouts Salad
Superfoods quinoa, pomegranate, and Brussels sprouts salad is chock full of nutrients in every bite. It’s the perfect, healthy addition to your Thanksgiving spread, but can also be served as a nutritious side dish or as a main meal for any occasion.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 dozen or so Brussels sprouts – rinsed and quartered
- 1 large pomegranate, seeds removed from the skin (set aside a few spoonfuls for garnish)
- 1 large grapefruit, sectioned and each section sliced in half
- 1/4 cup raw almonds, toasted and crushed into large bits
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced (use amount necessary based personal preference)*
- splash of olive oil
- dash of salt
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (or other similar oil)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Fluff with a fork to separate the grains.
Rinse, dry, and quarter the Brussels sprouts. Place them on a baking sheet and toss with a light splash of olive oil and a small sprinkling of salt. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water. Remove the baked Brussels sprouts from oven and immediately transfer the Brussels sprouts into the bowl of cold water (this stops the cooking process and keeps the Brussels sprouts looking bright green). Once cooled, remove from water and place in a colander to drain excess water.
If using raw almonds (you can also use toasted, but I prefer the flavor of freshly toasted almonds), place a small skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Once heated, toss the almonds into the skillet and move them around until they begin to darken and release a toasted aroma. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, place the almonds in a resealable bag and crush gently with a mallet or meat tenderizer to achieve large bits.
Next, section the grapefruit using whatever method works for you. This post by The Yummy Life shows an easy step-by-step method that works well. Once you have removed the sections, cut each in half. Set aside.
Next, de-seed the pomegranate. The wooden spoon method works well.
In a large bowl, pour the cooled and fluffed quinoa, and the rest of the ingredients (reserving some pomegranate seeds for garnish). Add dressing according to taste. Garnish with the reserved pomegranate seeds.
*I find that jalapeños vary widely in their heat factor, so use your judgment based on personal preference and the relative heat of your particular jalapeño.