Family Tested Review: Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower, Almonds and Dried Apricots.

Check out what Canadian families thought of one of our most popular quinoa recipes.

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Get the recipe: Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower, Almonds and Dried Apricots »

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As part of the Family Tested program, we asked Canadian families to test and review our recipes.

One family was particularly excited about having a different recipe to try out to bring some new flavours to their dinner table.

This recipe was a hit with myself, husband and almost 3-year-old daughter. My 11-year-old son was not a fan of the curry flavor. We eat a lot of quinoa, but I find that my recipes are overused. This was a nice step in a different direction. I’m also a fan of cauliflower, but do not have a variety of receipts for this ingredient either.

I found the recipe easy to follow and simple clean up, two things that are very important to me when trying something new. I’m also a huge fan of making a dish and it being able to last for a few days in the fridge to be used as easy side dishes or lunches for the week. We are often very busy, so this will definitely be a go to in my future meal planning for that reason. Most of the ingredients were in my pantry, and the few that weren’t were easy to find in the grocery store.

I cooked the quinoa and cauliflower in advance so it had time to cool, which allowed me time to do my other weekly prep. When it was time to put the recipe together, my daughter was able to participate because there was nothing to cook so no safety hazards. She also enjoyed sneaking the dried apricots – something she hadn’t tried before.

I omitted the green onion from our recipe because my husband isn’t a fan of onions, this didn’t seem to have a major impact on the flavor. As mentioned above, our son didn’t love it. Curry can be a strong flavor for some people, so I’m not sure how many kids would approve of this recipe.

The only thing I would suggest is making it all in one bowl. I mixed my dressing in my bowl, added my ingredients, and then added the quinoa once cooled. Put the lid on my bowl and gave it a shake. Little to no clean up. Overall, this recipe was a hit in our household and it will definitely be a dish at my next dinner party.

– Heather Barker, Oshawa ON.

Another family loved how easy the recipe was to make and were particularly fond of the dried apricots.

We eat a lot of quinoa in our house, but usually in a salad or a soup, so this was definitely something different to try. Sometimes I cook the quinoa with broth instead of water to add extra flavour. I didn’t with this recipe and it didn’t need it, it was very flavourful. The other ingredients in this recipe are regulars of ours also and things my kids usually like, but never have we thought to mix them together. I’m glad we did, this was delicious.

First let me start off by talking about how easy this was to make. Most of the ingredients I already had at home, I just needed a few fresh vegetables. Also it was very quick to prepare, which is key when you’ve had a busy day and have toddlers whining in the background. Another plus was almost no cooking.

My husband and I loved the crunchiness of the celery and almonds mixed with the softness of the quinoa and apricots. We also loved the amount of spice mixed with the sweetness of the apricots, but my kids complained it was a bit too spicy for them.

My kids love most of the ingredients in the recipe on their own, especially dried apricots and cauliflower. But I think this recipe was too different looking for them. They are not the most adventurous when trying new foods (unless it’s desert) and I will blame it on their age for now (they are 2 and 3-years-old). They are not big fans of cilantro so maybe I will add that in separately for those who want it next time.

I garnished my husbands with extra cilantro on top because it adds so much extra flavour. We try to do at least 1 meatless dinner per week and this was an excellent option. You still get the protein from both the quinoa and the almonds and it is very filling.

So although this recipe was not a hit with the children, I will definitely make it again. My husbands actual words were “I really like this, you should make it again”.

It was excellent the next day packed for my husbands lunch and easy for me to pull out of the fridge. I would maybe double it next time so we have even more left over for lunches. You could easily bring this to a potluck or use it as a side for a bigger meal when company is over.

– Jamie Lundeen, Coquitlam BC.

This family was excited to make this recipe as it could be taken to lunch the next day. Adding the almonds before digging in of course.

My husband and I enjoy curry, the kids love dried apricots, and everyone likes quinoa. As I am the only vegetarian in the house I was excited to try a recipe that everyone could eat. It had lots of protein so it could actually be a main course for me.

I love quinoa, and was excited to try it as a salad. I usually serve it warm, as a side dish, instead of rice. I was nervous about spice levels for the kids, but it had tons of flavor without being overly spicy. I must admit that it did take a bit of prep work- lots of chopping and preparing of ingredients, but was totally worth it in the end. Everyone loved the salad, and it was as beautiful as it tasted.

Henry, who is 8 years old, said “it tasted great!” He liked the crunchy almonds. Charlotte, who is 6 years old, said “it’s yummy.” She particularly enjoyed the sweetness of the dried apricots. The kids both asked for second servings, which is unusual. My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed it – we loved the mild curry flavor, the varied textures of the quinoa, almonds, apricots.

It kept well in the fridge, so we had leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day. The only problem with the leftovers was that the almonds got a bit soggy. This was easily rectified by bringing along some extra toasted almonds to add just before eating. This recipe will certainly be added to my cooking ‘repertoire’, although I would make it on a weekend and use the leftovers during the week – it makes quite s large salad.

It simply takes too long to make on a weeknight after work, when I am trying to get everyone fed quickly, and their baths and homework done. It would also be a great potluck salad.

– Janet Faith, Westmount QB.

Get the recipe: Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower, Almonds and Dried Apricots »

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