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Nourishing Tips & Recipes


Updated: 4 days ago

Refreshing salad made with quinoa pomegranate seeds orange and cilantro
Quinoa salad with pomegranate seeds and orange by Dr. Erika Siegell

When I need to make a big dish to share, this recipe tops the list because it’s such a crowd-pleaser.

When it’s just the four of us, I’ll cut the recipe in half. Pomegranate seeds add a juicy burst of sweet-tart flavor and vibrant color. If you don’t usually peel your own pomegranates at home, I assure you it is more fun than it is work. The trick is to slice off the top, quarter the pomegranate and then dunk your hands in a big bowl of water with the fruit and just start fondling that pomegranate until all the seeds are out. The white pithy part will float to the top and you can easily harvest your little antioxidant gems.



  • 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (makes 4½ cups cooked)

  • 3 cups water

  • Salt

  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • ¾ teaspoon finely grated organic orange zest

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate; see Note for substitutions)

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • ½ cup chopped lightly toasted pecans or pine nuts (page 214)

  • Fresh lemon juice


1 In a medium pot with a lid, add the quinoa, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover the pot and allow the water to come to a light simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and, without stirring, allow the quinoa to slightly simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff gently with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to allow it to cool completely.

2 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the orange juice, oil, soy sauce or tamari, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, and orange zest.

3 Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix well. Fold in the pomegranate seeds, cilantro and nuts and season with lemon juice. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight before serving. Taste before serving to see if it needs a little salt or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


If pomegranates are not in season, you can substitute dried cranberries or chopped dried sour cherries.


Want more essential health wisdom and nourishing recipes? The Nourish Me Kitchen 2-volume book has got you covered. Explore functional-medicine foundations and 300 family-friendly, body-thriving recipes by Dr. Erika Siegel here.

The Nourish Me Kitchen Two Volume Book from Dr. Erika Siegel



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