From the Heart: Red Quinoa with Cranberries

Today is a weird anniversary for me. Exactly one month ago, I got a call that my father’s heart had stopped and that he wasn’t breathing. A combination of miracles brought him back to us, and he is currently on the mend from open heart surgery. Now that we are getting a little space to breathe and reflect, there are a couple of things I wanted to share. First, I’m pretty sure that our ending wouldn’t have been so happy if it hadn’t been for my uncle’s CPR training. My uncle kept Dad’s blood pumping until the paramedics arrived. I am so grateful that my uncle was there instead of me, because I’m not certified in CPR. I couldn’t even fake it. This is appalling.

So, we are taking CPR classes. Soon. If you are also in the dark, you should look into it. The Red Cross classes are the most comprehensive, and they offer certification. You can also take a more basic class at most hospitals and a few park districts. Delnor Hospital in Geneva offers an Infant/Child CPR class for $15.

The other thing I wanted to share was a recipe. I was flipping through a Heart-Healthy cookbook at my parents’ house a few days ago, and I came across a recipe for quinoa salad with dried cranberries. I forgot to write it down, so I searched online and found this recipe. We tried it last night, and it was wonderful. It will definitely be one of our contributions to the family Thanksgiving dinner.

Red Quinoa with Cranberries


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup toasted almond slices (we left these out due to a nut allergy)
  1. In a large saucepan or small stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, cooking until it starts to turn translucent.
  3. Add quinoa and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add stock and salt, stir.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in cranberries. Cook until all liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Stir in nuts and serve. It’s just as good when it’s cold, though, so feel free to make ahead or to dive into the leftovers.

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