Source: "The Heart-Smart Diabetes Kitchen: Fresh, Fast and Flavorful Recipes Made with Canola Oil" from the American Diabetes Association and CanolaInfo | Category: Diabetes-Friendly, Heart-Smart, Salads

Quinoa and Browned Onion Salad with Apples

If you've never had browned onions in a salad, this is the time to try it. Sautéed in mild-tasting canola oil, the onions are sweet and nutty and bring out the flavor of the pecans.

Quinoa and Browned Onion Salad with Apples


  • 2 cups water 500 mL
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa 125 mL
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz/28 g) pecan pieces 60 mL
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil, divided 15 mL
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onions 250 mL
  • 1 cup finely chopped Granny smith apple 250 mL
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries 60 mL
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 30 mL
  • 1 Tbsp pourable sugar substitute 15 mL
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp salt 1 mL
  • 1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes .5 mL


  • 1. In medium saucepan over high heat, bring water to boil. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered tightly, 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Drain in fine-mesh sieve and run under cold water to cool quickly, shaking off excess liquid.
  • 2. Meanwhile, heat medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add nuts and cook 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • 3. In skillet, heat 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil, tilting to coat bottom lightly. Add onions and cook 8 minutes or until richly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside on dinner plate in thin layer to cool quickly, about 4 minutes.
  • 4. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients.Add quinoa, onions, and nuts, tossing gently, yet thoroughly, until well blended.
  • Tip: Quinoa is an excellent vegetarian source of protein. It is gluten-free and a good source of fiber and minerals as well. If not available, quinoa may be substituted with brown rice.


4 servings

serving size

3/4 cup (175 mL)

nutritional analysis

Per Serving

Total Fat11 g
Saturated Fat1 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Carbohydrates33 g
Fiber4 g
Protein4 g
Sodium150 mg