gluten-free lunch salads sides

Apricot & Edamame Quinoa Salad

June 18, 2014

This Apricot and Edamame Quinoa Salad is a healthy, delicious and nutritious vegetarian salad recipe perfect for lunch or dinner! With fresh apricots and edamame and a zesty lemon dressing, this salad doesn’t skimp on flavor.

This salad would be great for a picnic. I wish I could say this statement with confidence, but thanks to Mother Nature, I can’t. Remember my summer bucket list post? Well last weekend C and I decided to tackle #1, rent kayaks and have a picnic on the Toronto Islands.Apricot and Edamame Quinoa Salad // thehealthymaven.comI called and rented us a tandem kayak and prepped a whole spread for our lunch. I made this quinoa salad, chopped veggies and made a dip, picked up some charcuterie and cheese along with some grapes to munch on. We even stayed in on Saturday so that we could be up bright and early on Sunday morning. By this I mean that Orange is the New Black had just been released and we needed to get through as much of the season as possible…

Fast-forward to Sunday morning, I bounced out of bed, poured myself some iced coffee and started organizing our stuff for the day. I think I must have had my excitement goggles on because I failed to notice the grey, scary-looking sky outside. This observation only occurred when I received a call from the rental company informing me I could cancel because they were calling for a 90% chance of rain. Life. Shattered.

Yes, I am being dramatic but a very important thing to know about me is that my mood is entirely dictated by the weather. So basically when they called and informed me of the impending weather I went from hero to zero in 2.5 seconds. Does that statement work when used backwards? Whatever. Sorry it’s pouring rain outside right now which means I’m feeling sassy.

Apricot and Edamame Quinoa Salad // thehealthymaven.comI chose the wrong place to live considering it is basically winter in Toronto 8 months of the year. I avoid the outside like the plague (in fact I think winter might be the plague) from October to May and not a chance am I going outside when it’s raining. I’m partially allergic to rain (I made that up) and also have very curly hair so if it’s straight it CANNOT get wet. Otherwise I wasted 45 minutes of my life straightening my hair, only to end up with an afro again by the end of the day.

So as you can imagine, when I discovered our picnic had a descent chance of being rained out I immediately cancelled everything and spent the rest of the morning sulking. Eventually I snapped out of it and baked myself a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp which I promptly demolished in less than 12 hours. And we had a nice little picnic with this Apricot and Edamame Quinoa Salad at our kitchen table. Though I’m still a little bitter… πŸ˜‰


Apricot & Edamame Quinoa Salad

  • Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 fresh apricots, pitted & chopped
  • 3 green onions (white and light green only), sliced
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
  • juice, 1 lemon
  • 2 T white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  2. In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, apricots, green onion, edamame, bell pepper, sunflower seeds and feta (if using).
  3. In a separate bowl combine lemon juice, vinegar, and dijon.
  4. Add dressing to quinoa mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Top with paprika, salt and pepper.
  6. Let sit in refrigerator for at least one hour to soak in the flavours. I recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight before eating. It gets better the longer it sits.


  • Serving Size: 4

Apricot and Edamame Quinoa Salad - a healthy, delicious and nutritious vegetarian salad recipe perfect for lunch or dinner! Are you affected by the weather? What’s in your picnic basket?


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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    June 18, 2014 at 5:12 am

    I am allergic to rain too….well cold weather. Pretty sure it was a sign from God for you to be in Australia that day πŸ˜‰

    Don’t lie about that crumble cake. It was mince beef. Now let’s focus on this sweet and savoury delight.

  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    June 18, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Rain. The worst. Only the environmentalist in me can tolerate it, because you know, ecosystems and whatnot. A long time ago I self-diagnosed myself with seasonal affective disorder because it simply cannot be normal to feel like life has no meaning by the end of the winter every year. Probably my psych degree from google doesn’t qualify me to make that determination, but all I know is it wasn’t a problem when I lived in Florida and had plenty of sunshine, and that’s evidence! As for the rain, as far as I’m concerned rain is the universe telling us not to bother getting up. I have the hardest time peeling myself off the bed/couch and accomplishing anything if it’s raining. On the bright side, this quinoa looks delicious and summery and I’m sure it will be perfect at your picnic when you finally have it!

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    June 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I thought I hated all the Vancouver rain…until I moved to Florida and it never stops Sunning! (is that a word?)
    But, kitchen table picnics can be fun too…and this salad is amazing! I would have never paired apricots with edamame…yumo! Pinned!

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    June 18, 2014 at 6:27 am

    My friend and I love watching the kayakers pull up and dock at one of our favorite restaurants. I have never been on a kayak and probably never will attempt one because I don’t love the water or water activities. Dining by the water in summer is another story…I am affected by weather – I am slowly hating winter as I get older and can’t get enough summer sunshine. Total reverse of who I used to be. I could do without rainy gloomy days when they happen on Mondays. Or on weekends where I planned to be at the beach.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Ugh – I feel your pain -a rained out picnic is no fun, but this salad anywhere would make the sun come out – at least in my soul (yes I am corny) – love the combo of apricots, edamame, sunflower seeds and feta!
    Yall have winter for 8 months??? YIKES!!

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    June 18, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Mmm I love how much protein this has! Hopefully the weather will cooperate for a picnic soon. It’s all thunderstorms and heat here!

  • Reply
    erin @ The Almond Eater
    June 18, 2014 at 7:18 am

    NOOOOOO rain ruins everything. It’s raining right now and I’m just pissed that I’m going to need an umbrella. Kayaking is on my summer bucket list too even though Miguel and I went two summers ago and I got tired after like 10 mins hahah. So we just sat in the water. Still fun…

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    June 18, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Booooo rain. I’m not a fan of it either – I tried to take the dog for a walk yesterday morning and we got to the end of the block before it started pouring. Currently debating whether to take him for a walk now, but it’s horribly depressing-looking outside so I’m afraid it’s going to happen again…

  • Reply
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat
    June 18, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Yummy! This looks amazing and I think my favorite part would have to be the fresh apricots. Love it!

    Ugh, I hate rain! Last week it rained every single day for a week. It was so gloomy and insanely humid. At least we’re getting some sun this week!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    June 18, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I can do rain, but I hate, hate, HATE the wind. That being said, rain isn’t my favourite thing either. Did I mention that it rained almost every single day that I was in Kauai? And that we had to cancel our paddle boarding and kayaking plans because of it? I was planning on heading up to the mountains to go hiking last weekend, and yeah… that one got rained out too. So I definitely feel ya on the sulking. I turned to chocolate orange bread for comfort though…

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    June 18, 2014 at 8:20 am

    rain is such a bummer..hope you can do it soon picnic basket usually has some sort of cold salad, cheese and crackers, and wine πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    June 18, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I hate bad weather. That’s why winter sucks so much – the sky is grey for so much of the time. Cold weather and blue skies? I can actually do that. But cold weather and grey skies (or worse, SNOW), kill me now.

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    June 18, 2014 at 9:18 am

    What a pretty summer salad! I’m obsessed with apricots right now, so this is the perfect recipe for me. Can’t wait to recreate it!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food
    June 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

    The only upside to rain is that I don’t have to remember to water my garden. I’m allergic to snow and ice, so winter is the worst and makes me super depressed. I don’t mind rain as much as long as it’s warm outside!

    That salad looks delicious and summery, though, even if you only got to eat it in your kitchen!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake
    June 18, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I’m not a huge fan of Edamame but I’m willing to give this recipe a try because it looks so delicious!!! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    June 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

    OMG. I’m only like three episodes in of Orange and I’m already freaking out that I won’t be able to finish it before I leave. I would like to spend the remainder of my time here in front of the screen faceplanting into this gorg salad!

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    June 18, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I was super depressed all last week because the weather was shit. And it just stinks to be outside in general when it rains. Part of me wants to say that that’s why i like snow more than rain, cause you won’t get soaked immediately… but then I remember the cold. Ew.

    Love edamame, but still unsure about apricots. Perhaps this will convert me!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Bummer! I only dislike rain when I have to go somewhere or do something. Otherwise it’s great atmosphere to cozy up indoors to a movie or book.

    Of course, since moving form Nebraska to California seven years ago I can’t complain about rainy winters. Especially since this last winter compared to living in Antarctica. If there’s anything worse than rain, it’s snow. When you come inside from snow, you’re just as wet as if you had been in rain, plus it’s COLD.

  • Reply
    Consuelo - Honey & Figs
    June 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Ahh poor thing. Rain does suck, especially when curly hair is involved gah. Hope you enjoyed that yummy crisp and this salad. It looks super fresh and crisp and it is a bummer indeed that you didn’t get to eat it outside :'( xx

  • Reply
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
    June 18, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Urgh I am affected by the weather so much – especially if it is cold. I hate being cold!

    Sometimes I wonder why I live in Scotland!

  • Reply
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
    June 18, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I went SUP boarding in the rain last fall. Froze my ass off!

    This salad is lovely! I’d rather eat it than sit in the rain.

  • Reply
    Jordan @ The Blonde Vegan
    June 18, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Ommmggg, yum. I want to make this salad immediately. And what a frickin’ bummer that your kayak/picnic trip was rained out! I would not have been a happy camper either… when plans abruptly change I kind of turn into a biatch for a few hours. Come to NYC, it’s been beautiful the last few weeks!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    So sorry to hear about your rained on picnic!! It is funny, though, to see just how many people hate the rain from the comments! I am the complete opposite! Maybe it’s because I live in southern California and it’s a miracle when we get rain but I constantly hoping for rain! If I hear that rain is in the forecast for the week, I wish the rest of the days away until the rainy day comes. I LOVE rain. Rain must be my absolute favorite type of weather. However, If it were to rain on my picnic I would be a little upset as well because I do not do well when things don’t go according to plan. Hopefully a sunny day is in the forecast for you! πŸ™‚

    On another note, that salad looks absolutely delicious!! I cannot wait to try it out!

  • Reply
    Alex @ Kenzie Life
    June 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Sorry the weather ruined your plans! That’s no fun. I would’ve never thought to use apricots and edamame in combination but it sounds lovely! “Apricots, made from real apes!” Sorry if you don’t get that reference. Story of my life.

  • Reply
    Megan @ The Skinny-Life
    June 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    What a beauty of a salad! I so feel your pain on the weather. I grew up in WI and believe I was depressed most of my childhood due to the weather. Since moving to AZ, I’m a much happier person and convinced it’s the vast amount of daily sun we get.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    So the Hubby and I did actually go canoeing last year and there is NO ROOM IN THE BOAT FOR SNACKS. For real, the Hubby made me leave them behind. I did stuff my phone in a Ziploc bag and shoved it in my bikini top. We’re planning on doing it again this year, and I’m planning on bringing snacks. I haven’t figured out the logistics yet, but mark my words, it will happen.

    Maybe I’ll bring this salad. It’s beautiful and I like edamame.

  • Reply
    Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon
    June 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    How come only the salad got devoured? I would have pulled out those meats, cheese, grapes, and gone to picnic town on a blanket on the floor while binging on Orange Is The New Black. Wait… did I just tell you how I plan to spend my evening tonight? Yep. Definitely going to try this salad soon!

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons' Share)
    June 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Love that you used fresh apricots instead of dried! Protein packed and delicious – will definitely be trying this one! Thanks, lady!

  • Reply
    Jo @ Living Mint Green
    June 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Sometimes I hate living in Canada… but once summer hits, I forget how much I hate snow & feel like the luckiest person in the world.
    It’s been kinda rainy here in the Rockies this week, but I like it! As long as the weekends are clear & sunny, that’s all that matters. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Oh rubbish – that sounded like such a great day as well. I can vouch that kayaking is really hard – maybe it is because I am a bit special though… I found it really hard to go straight haha. If wind and rain are together I can turn pyschotic – it makes me really angry for some unknown reason – Johnny thinks I am mental as I am cursing under my umbrella haha. The day looks like it was saved by some pretty good dessert – so you are still winning. Plus this salad looks great – one for the lunch box – pronto!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I am totally affected by the weather! I get soooo cranky when its not nice out and I want to do something fun on the weekend. I probably would have been in a really bad mood if that happened to me! Last week it rained here Monday through Friday. Then Friday afternoon we drove up the Cape where it proceeded to rain most of the day on Saturday while it was nice and sunny in NYC. I honestly started to feel a bit depressed from lack of sunshine!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    June 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Boo for crappy weather! You need to move to Cali girlfriend.

    I love apricots and edamame! Haven’t bought any apricots lately and I think I need to change that.

    My picnic basket always has cheese, crackers, fruit and fresh bread. Nom nom nom.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I like a rainy day about once a month – beyond that and my mood suffers a lot!!!
    Sorry you didn’t get the picnic – hopefully soon!!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    June 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I hate it when the weather spoils my plans! That happened to me so many times this winter thanks to the snow – I was so bitter towards it!

    Your kayaking and picnic date sounds fun though! I hope you get to do it soon.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    This is amazing. I adore quinoa salads, but I would never think to use apricots in one for some reason! What a great flavor addition.
    Sorry for the bummer weather though πŸ™

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    June 20, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Gotta love Mother Nature’s hormonal attitude. And then our hormonal attitude as a response. This quinoa salad makes me happy though!

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