Merry Christmas Quinoa

Serves 6

If you love the combination of mustard and bacon, this festive quinoa dish is for you!


  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup chopped pancetta or bacon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa, any variety, including red or black
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced tart apples
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup sultana raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • ½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, for garnish


Fry the onion and pancetta or bacon in the olive oil in a sauté pan until cooked and a little crispy. Set aside.

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package.

Combine the quinoa, celery, apples, pomegranate seeds, raisins and walnuts in a large mixing bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and blue cheese in a small bowl. The dressing will be chunky. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss well. Add the bacon and onion mixture and the fresh Italian parsley and toss again.

Serve on a large platter and garnish with the dried cranberries.

Cook’s tip: To make it really festive, serve the quinoa as an appetizer in little radicchio cups.

Nutrition Analysis: 620 cal, 35 g fat, 10 mg chol, 330 mg sodium, 67 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 26 g sugar, 16 g protein.

Recipes excerpted from Scared Wheatless (Whitecap Books) by Mary Jo Eustace. Photos by Tracey Kusiewicz for Scared Wheatless (Whitecap Books).