Quinoa Fruit Salad

I spent a good portion of my morning attempting to work and reading poetry instead.

Ellen Bass. Let’s just talk about her for a minute shall we? Her words are breathtaking. They are beyond imagination, and yet so familiar in their arrival to your lips. Her poems feel fleeting and nostalgic, yet touch on everyday moments, events, reminders.

I’ll share one of her poems below, then go find the rest for yourself. Buy her book. Whisper her words. Surely, they are your words, too.

If You Knew
by Ellen Bass
What if you knew you’d be the last
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips
along the life line’s crease.

When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn’t signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won’t say Thank you, I don’t remember
they’re going to die.

A friend told me she’d been with her aunt.
They’d just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt’s powdered cheek when they left.
Then they walked half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.

How close does the dragon’s spume
have to come? How wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?

That poem, right? Wait. Just you wait until you read “Relax” or “Pray for Peace” or (grab a tissue and a fan for this one)…”Gate C22.”

Guys. Guys.

Did you just read “Gate C22“? Ohmyholydelicious. Right?

Shall we talk brunch foods?

I pulled this Quinoa Fruit Salad together for last weekends brunch at my Emily friends casa. We hung our heads over platefulls of this salad and hummed compliments into the air around it.

It’s not a nice salad.

It’s the sort of salad that finds you cussing because you can’t believe this random concoction could taste like sunshine and coconuts.

It gets the coconut flavor from coconuts. But the sunshine? Oh, darling. That’s all you. Every last bite.

Let’s just read fruit salad and eat poetry all day, and pretend like my photos were properly edited. Because, holy funky. What is up with those colors?

If you say you can’t see it, I won’t steal your sunshine.

And no, I don’t know what that means. It’s part of my poetically enigmatic approach to blogging.

It’s the new thang. Keepin’ it trendy, yo.


Quinoa Fruit Salad


For the salad:
1/2 cup slices almonds
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
8 cups quinoa, cooked according to standard directions
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
4 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup toasted coconut

For the dressing:
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
juice of 6 limes (approximately 1/3 cup of juice. Use bottled key lime juice if needed)


Place the almonds and turbinado sugar into a nonstick skillet with 1/2 teaspoon of water. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the almonds are toasted and the sugar begins to caramelize onto the almonds. Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper and allow to cool.

In a large bowl stir together all ingredients for the salad. Place the dressing ingredients into a blender, puree completely, then pour over your salad. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with almonds, if desired. Serve immediately, or store in fridge for up to 12 hours.

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28 Responses to “Quinoa Fruit Salad”

  1. 1

    Priyanka on March 15, 2012 at 2:44 am Reply

    Beautiful and Healthy. Lovely photos

  2. 2

    Aenea on March 15, 2012 at 7:13 am Reply

    It feels like summer already in NC with our 80 degree temps and I’m ready for lots of summery salads. If I only had all the ingredients this would have made it onto tonight’s picnic menu. This recipe will definitely be made soon though!

  3. 3

    Connie on March 15, 2012 at 9:34 am Reply

    What a unique way to serve quinoa. I’ve only come up with savory applications, but this sounds so tasty and filling.

  4. 4

    kelly on March 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm Reply

    can’t wait to try! i am gluten free and i miss the frog eye salad we used to make. this make me think i could try it with quinoa! this sounds so yummy though!!!

    • Brooke replied: — March 15th, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

      Brilliant idea!

  5. 5

    Eldon Kartchner on March 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm Reply

    Um-K, the quinoa and fruit look scrumptious but lets talk inspiration for a moment. THANK YOU for the share of poetry today. I loved the words. On our last vacation together my wife Heather and I went to a movie – Time Travelers Wife. Poignantly horrible for us. Sometimes I like to imagine I could time travel back and take over myself in previous years just to get another look at her in real life. I’m sure if I did, that I would kiss her like the poem Gate C22 described, and I would refuse to stop. I bless you with all my sweet reminiscing joy, for providing the opportunity to fantasize about that this afternoon.

    • Brooke replied: — March 15th, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

      Oh Eldon. Heart you.

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  7. 6

    Kristine on March 18, 2012 at 8:30 am Reply

    Hi Brooke, I really want to make this! However, I can’t eat coconut oil and can’t find brown rice syrup. A suggestion for making the dressing equally delicious with substitutions? Thanks!

    • Brooke replied: — March 18th, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

      Hey Christine! Extra light olive oil and honey should work as well!

  8. 7

    Nancy on March 21, 2012 at 9:53 pm Reply

    This sounds so wonderfully yummy and I can’t wait to make it! I have one small …..or ok maybe a big issue. I’m allergic to nuts (all nuts). Do you have a suggestion what I could maybe use instead of almonds? I would very much appreciate your input.
    My sister in law has Celiac and I can’t wait to introduce it to her.
    I love your blog and all the fun and thought you put into it.

    • Brooke replied: — March 22nd, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

      Oh, just leave those nuts out. No worries at all!

  9. 8

    Wendy on May 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm Reply

    Made this today for an early mother’s day brunch; my husband, mother and mother in law were present. I knew I’d like it but wasn’t sure if the other 3 would. I followed the directions closely and it seemed to come together nicely. So easy to make, however, I made the dressing last night which solidified, so I just set the container in a bowl of warm water to soften it up. I’m happy to report that it was a BIG hit! Fresh, refreshing, unique combination of flavors and lovely textures. This will likely be a staple in my diet; particularly during the summer when the fruit is locally in season. Thanks for sharing

    • Brooke replied: — May 13th, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

      Oh! Wonderful! Wonderful! WONDERFUL!!!

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  14. 9

    Jennifer on July 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm Reply

    Is that 8 cups cooked quinoa or dry? Cooked seems like a lot- I know it doubles. It sounds delicious! My husband loves to eat quinoa, agave, pineapple, and peanuts :)

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  16. 10

    Cher on April 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm Reply

    Looks so delicious! I’m also wondering: 8 cups dry, or cooked quinoa??

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  20. 13

    Jenny on April 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing this delicious Quinoa Fruit Salad recipe. We featured it on our blog this week! http://www.thehappygal.com/20-quinoa-recipes-love/

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