Green Apple and Macadamia Quinoa


Cover-Fresh Happy Tasty: An Adventure in 100 Recipes Green Apple and Macadamia Quinoa:
  Copyright 2013

Fresh Happy Tasty: An Adventure in 100 Recipes by Jane Coxwell is the newest cookbook I’ve added to my collection. Coxwell is a South African chef who splits her time between New York City and traveling the world at the on board chef for Diane Von Furstenberg’s yacht, Eos. Sounds kind of dreamy, doesn’t it? I was immediately drawn in by the photography. The food is bright and colorful and there are also photos of places they’ve visited. The recipes themselves reflect the world travels and include all sorts of ethnic foods. Looking at the cover recipe for Green Apple and Macadamia Quinoa and flipping through the pages, I kept saying, “Yes, that looks like something I’d make and love.” The recipes rely heavily on fresh, whole food ingredients that really appeal to me. Also, there are quite a few gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan recipes or are easily adaptable to be allergen and intolerance friendly.

I was interested specifically in the cover recipe and immediately searched the book to find the recipe. I was surprised at the combination of ingredients–a mix of fruit and veggies that I might have never paired together. I simply wouldn’t have thought of adding green apple to a quinoa salad along with cucumber, apple, and green bell pepper and macadamia nuts. Read my notes below to see what I thought of the recipe.


Print Print Recipe

Green Apple and Macadamia Quinoa

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 40 min

"This dish tastes like health and summer. It can be eaten as a side dish or on its own."


1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 small green onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup seeded diced cucumber
1 cup diced green apple
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 red serrano chile, seeded and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
Agave nectar, to taste
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
Maldon or other flaky salt


1. Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions. Put the drained quinoa back into the pot and stir it over low heat to remove some of the moisture.
2. In a small dry skillet, toast the macadamia nuts over medium-low heat until evenly browned, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often to keep them from burning. Crush the nuts lightly with a knife.
3. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, macadamia nuts, and the remaining ingredients. Toss and check for seasoning; add more lemon juice and salt if necessary.


*I couldn't find red serrano chiles, so I used a green one. I really loved the pop of red in the pictures, so I added a tablespoon of finely diced red bell pepper too.

*If you don't like spicy food, omit the serrano chile. Even with the seeds and ribs removed, it still provided a good amount of heat.

*I used honey instead of agave nectar. The recipe doesn't specify an exact amount, so I just drizzled a little on top of everything and stirred it in with the yogurt and lemon juice.

*I added some chopped fresh parsley and celery leaves.

*To make this vegan, use 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk and a little more lemon juice.

The results:

I was surprised how much I loved this salad! As I said, it seemed like an interesting (not weird or strange, just interesting) combination of ingredients and it was honestly PERFECT. Tangy, sweet, crunchy, just enough salt, spicy. So much going on in this salad! Will definitely add this to my regular rotation of salads.  There is very little dressing, which is a good thing.  It doesn’t need much.  The flavors of the fresh ingredients really shine through.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes. I think this salad captures the essence of the book on one recipe. Fresh, full of flavor, fun, and definitely tasty and happy.  My husband does not like quinoa or the quinoa salads I make every week.  He took one taste and said, “This is good.  It’s the perfect balance of flavors.”  And I told him I said the same thing after my first bite.  Yes!  This recipe and this book are keepers.  Can’t wait to try more recipes from Fresh Happy Tasty.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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7 Responses to “Green Apple and Macadamia Quinoa”

  1. 1

    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — May 23, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    ooo I love the colors! Look very good!

  2. 2

    Heidi — May 23, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    Did you serve this right after mixing or could you serve it chilled?

    • Lindsey Johnson replied: — May 23rd, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

      Heidi, we ate some of it right away and then the rest chilled the next day. Either way is great!

  3. 3

    Tieghan — May 23, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

    So pretty! This looks delicious!

  4. 4

    Lori Lange — May 23, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    I haven’t experimented very much with quinoa (I guess I haven’t jumped on the quinoa bandwagon like everyone else!), but this recipe has me intrigued. I’m loving the flavors involved, and the added sweetness sounds perfect!

  5. 5

    Deborah — May 28, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

    I am so intrigued by this recipe! I think it’s the apple that really gets me – so different!

  6. 6

    lind el — July 8, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

    I saw this recipe in People magazine a few weeks ago and had to try it. I didn’t have cucumbers so I left them out. I did have just-picked tomatoes and purple basil, so I added those. Absolutely wonderful flavors, crunchy, and so beautiful, too. It’s been hot in Fresno lately (well over 100) so cool non-cook meals are appealing.

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