I first learned about the Waldorf salad while staying at my English penfriend’s house, watching Fawlty Towers with the inimitable John Cleese… Like its namesake salad, this particular episode has become a classic in our household. Years later I moved to the States and of course got a taste of the real thing. I liked the mix of fruit and vegetables, the dressing, the crunch. Then came the discovery that I had problems with gluten and my Significant Other with a lot more things ! I am not one to sit and sob, feeling sorry for myself ; I just adapted it to our new dietary restrictions : no mayonnaise, no yogurt, no grapes. Made with nothing but fresh ingredients, I love it even more, and I hope you will too !
Ingredients (4 servings if eaten as a side dish)
– 100 g organic quinoa (my preference goes for the multi-color version)
– 2 celery ribs
– 1 or 2 crunchy organic apples, whichever you like best
– ½ lemon
– 2 TBSP cashew butter, preferably pure cashew butter, meaning with no added oil; it will substitute for the creamy touch of the mayonnaise
– 1 non-dairy yogurt (about 100 ml, or 3.5 oz) of your choice. In France I use soy yogurt but in the U.S. my daughter would probably use coconut yogurt. Just make sure there are no suspicious ingredients in what you buy – unless of course you make it yourself 😉
– some shelled walnuts, about 12; again make sure they have not been treated. Optionally you can, as I do, chop them coarsely and slightly toast them in coconut oil prior to making the salad.
– natural sea salt, and freshly ground white pepper (optional, only if it agrees with you)
1. Rinse and drain quinoa several times. This operation removes the bitterness of the grain. Cook washed quinoa in a large amount of boiling water, about 12 minutes. You know it is cooked when the germs pop out of the grains. Drain immediately to prevent overcooking.
2. Chop celery ribs and apples. Squeeze lemon over vegetables and fruit to prevent browning.
3. In a small bowl, thin cashew butter with 2 TBSP water. Consistency will seem harder at first but then it will eventually relax under your tender loving care! Mix in non-dairy yogurt. Your dressing is ready.
4. Assemble all the ingredients: quinoa, celery, apples, creamy dressing, and walnuts, salt (and pepper) to taste, mix well and enjoy! (This is making me hungry just typing it, I swear!)