Pear Quinoa Salad

Serves: 
About 35 servings

High-protein quinoa, which resembles bulgur wheat or couscous in texture, makes a lower-carb base for this side dish salad. Pears and cranberries add sweetness, and feta cheese, garlic and onions some savory notes, while walnuts contribute a nutty texture.

Ingredients

3¼ lb. quinoa
1 (#10) can Pacific Northwest diced pears
1½ lb. dried cranberries
6¼ tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. diced yellow onions
5 garlic cloves, minced
1½ tbsp. vegetable base
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. black pepper
18 oz. Romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
1½ lb. walnuts, toasted and chopped
2/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
8 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Steps

1. Rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Drain pears, reserving liquid. Measure out 1½ cups liquid and add dried cranberries to plump; set aside. To remaining pear liquid, add enough water to measure 3 1/8 qt.; set aside.

2. In 5-qt. saucepan, heat oil over med. heat. Add onions; cook until translucent. Add garlic; cook 1 min.

3. Add quinoa and toast the grains until fragrant and lightly browned. Stir in reserved diluted pear liquid and vegetable base until well combined. Add salt and pepper.

4. Reduce heat to a slow simmer; cover and cook until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove quinoa from heat and cool completely.

5. Gently stir romaine, walnuts, drained cranberries, diced pears, balsamic vinegar and feta cheese into cooled quinoa. Toss to coat evenly; chill until serving time.

Recipe by Nanette Taho, dietetic technician, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix, Arizona.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service  

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources