I’m convinced we grow sick of salads because we stop taking the time to focus on the flavors — or lack-their-of — that we’re adding to the bowl. We fall in a rut, and start throw tomatoes over lettuce, grab the nearest salad dressing and call it a day.

With truly endless combinations of veggies, grains, and fruits, there’s no reason on Earth you should get sick of salad. Take the time to explore different fresh tastes and usual dressings, and you’ll surely opt for healthy salads much more often.

Here’s a salad that’s interesting enough to serve to at a fall feast, yet simple enough to whip up for weekday lunch. You’ll have most of these ingredients already in your well-stocked pantry — just pickup an apple, lemon, and basil from the produce department. I like using Red Delicious apples because of the bright color and feeling of fall they add to the dish.

The combined delicious flavors of this Autumn Quinoa Salad will carry you from late summer all the way to the New Year.


Autumn Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 small Red Delicious apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped, oil set aside
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Cook quinoa as package instructs. I use a ratio of 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Bring to boil for 3 minutes, then let simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed by the quinoa. Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  2. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large serving bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together syrup, lemon, basil, salt, pepper and 1-2 tbsp of olive oil from sun dried tomatoes.
  4. Add apple, sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, and cranberries to large bowl. Drizzle syrup mixture overtop and toss until lightly coated.
  5. Tastes great warm or cold! Serve on its own or as a festive fall side dish.


Also see, Arugula, mint and apricot salad.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.