Warm Winter Spice Salad

Warm Winter Spice Salad l Scarletta Bakes

So you’ve enjoyed some green bean casserole (extra fried onions on top), some stuffing (extra sausage mixed in), and some pie (extra pastry crust underneath)…  let’s share a big bowl of butter!

I jest. Let’s instead do our cholesterols a favor and enjoy a refreshing Warm Winter Spice Salad made with hearty quinoa, satisfying hominy, and a flavorful array of spices and seasonings.

You’re welcome, cholesterols!

Uncooked Quinoa l Scarletta Bakes

If you’re not familiar with hominy, I think you’re going to appreciate the introduction:  it’s the whole version of the treated corn that is ground into what you know as masa harina. Masa harina is, of course, the corn-based flour that is used to produce the masa, or dough, that we use to make tamales, sopes, huaraches and our very favorite, corn tortillas. Now you’re a hominy expert and you have something to talk about at your next holiday cocktail party other than Kimye’s recent sound bite.

Rinsed Hominy Mixture l Scarletta Bakes

Seriously, and not just because Kimye said so, you can find hominy canned or dried in the Hispanic and/or canned vegetable aisle of any well-stocked grocery store, and it’s a wonderful way to add unique flavor and a hearty heft to so many dishes, from soups and stews to casseroles or warm salads like this one.

The Giada App l Scarletta Bakes

You’ll note that this recipe is courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, specifically her new cookbook, Giada’s Feel Good Food; I’ve been lucky enough to have a chance to try out Giada’s new app, which includes an ongoing ‘Feel Good Food’ feature as an extension of her cookbook.

To be honest with you, I’m a little suspicious of apps these days, since everyone in the galaxy has one and I find the majority of them actually offer very little value. As colorful and catchy as it might be, I don’t need a Real Simple app to tell me that I can turn my Q-tips around and use the other end, too. But Giada’s digital weekly is different:  it’s gorgeously photographed and thoughtfully curated with recipes, playlists, lifestyle stuff, etc. I lurve it and so does my iPad.

Ready To Garnish l Scarletta Bakes

But back to this Warm Winter Spice Salad. In her cookbook, Giada mentions that this recipe was inspired by a trip to Arizona, which, of course, was music to my own southwestern ears. And I think you’ll find, as I did, that this recipe showcases so many of the flavors that we know and love from the modern southwestern pantry.

Plus, and I’m just spitballing here, Warm Winter Spice Salad may just be a welcome (welcome!) respite from the meats, pastries, cookies, and big bowls of butter that you’re likely diving into this time of year. And now we can cross our cholesterols off of our holiday gift list. You’re welcome!

Warm Winter Spice Salad
Serves: approximately 6 servings
adapted from [i][url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Giadas-Feel-Good-Food-Healthy/dp/0307987205″ target=”_blank” title=”Giada’s Feel Good Food”]Giada’s Feel Good Food[/url][/i]
  • For the quinoa:
  • 1 1/2 c. quinoa
  • 2 c. low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1- 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1- 15 oz. can white hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c. parsley, chopped (Note that Giada’s original recipe calls for cilantro, but I substituted parsley as I was serving this salad to a crowd of cilantro haters.)
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 c. safflower or grapeseed oil
  • 3 tbsp. light agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed (from about 2 large limes)
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  1. Bring the quinoa, chicken broth, salt, and lemon zest to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately transfer the cooked quinoa to a large heat-proof bowl. Toss in the rinsed beans and hominy.
  2. To prepare the dressing, whisk the oil, agave, lime juice, vinegar, cumin, salt, and black pepper together in a small bowl until smooth.
  3. Stir the dressing into the quinoa mixture, tossing until well-coated. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Note that I prefer to serve this salad warm, but it could easily be served at room temperature or even chilled.

For more information on or to subscribe to the Giada: A Digital Weekly app, please visit the iTunes store. The Giada app is available for download onto either the iPhone or the iPad. Weekly issues are published every Thursday and are priced at 99 cents, with a monthly subscription (four issues) option available for $2.99.

This post was sponsored by Random House Digital, Inc. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions included here are my own. As always, I only write about food and products that I personally truly love.


  1. 4


    “green bean casserole (extra fried onions on top)” – I love you even more than you know. The fried onions are the reason I love green bean casserole so much. ;)

    This is the perfect winter salad! Warm, cozy, and packed with quinoa (my fave!).

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