Recipe: Quinoa Salad

February I will be featuring recipes using different types of grains. I find that many people don’t know how to cook grains or what to do with them. So I hope you try something different and add some grain into your diet. NOTE: none of my recipes have wheat in them for those of you that can’t eat wheat – and please note that these grains I’m using are NOT wheat.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is the grain of the gods according to the Incas of Peru. On my recent trip there I found the people there ate a lot of this powerhouse grain. Not only is it tasty, but it is highly nutritious. If it’s good enough for the Incas – it’s good enough for me! Try it in this colorful and delicious Quinoa Salad.

quinoa salad recipe

Quinoa Salad

Cooked 1 cup of Quinoa in 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Rinse it before cooking, bring to a boil, simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the grain is tender. Set aside to cool completely.

1 cup edamame beans (shelled)
1 cup of your favorite beans, I used chick peas
1/2 cup black olives, sliced (optional, but add a nice taste)
1 yellow or orange pepper, seeded and chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
1 cucumber chopped
3 green onions chopped
1 bunch parsley minced
1 cup fresh basil finely chopped or herbs, as desired (or used some dried if you don’t have any fresh ones)

Put all chopped vegetable in large bowl with cooked and cooled quinoa.

1/4 cup sesame or Udo’s oil
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced or pressed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix dressing in a jar. Toss salad with dressing and serve.

This quinoa salad lasts well in the fridge for several days. If you want it to have more zip, add some balsamic vinegar in place of some of the Apple cider vinegar. You can also try using different vegetables or even a different grain like: Barley, mushrooms, asparagus and eggplant. Or spelt, corn, tomatoes, jalapenos and black beans for a Mexican touch. Don’t be afraid to play around with it and use what you have in the fridge or pantry. Sometimes you get a happy accident and make something really great.

Until next week.

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Quinoa Salad Photo Credit: Her View Photography


  1. I’m going to admit I’m a the recipe groupie! Mmm, yummy.

    Questions: How much grain is recommended per day if you are wanting weight loss? Can you put that into cups measurements please.. I don’t want to overindulge in the grains but still want the benefits of them in my dietary plans.


  2. To expand on that answer from Darlene – It really depends on who you talk to and what your goals are.

    you say your goal is fat loss. Then stick to a maximum of 1 cup of grains per day. So if you have 1 cup of oatmeal in the morning, that’s it. The rest of the day is vegetables, beans, legumes and meats.

    if you know you’re having a curry for lunch or dinner, just make a choice to have no grains for breakfast and keep your 1 cup of grains for the brown rice with the curry.

    The obvious question is then, if I don’t have grains for breakfast – what do I have then? How about beans? or beans and eggs? or eggs and a salad?

    I’ll be answering that question on the blog later in the week as I’m off grains for an entire week this week. Might go two weeks too as I did last time.

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