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

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

FSD Resources