Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WA) is an ancient grain (actually a seed) that is super nutritious. It's high in protein and iron, low in sodium and has high amounts of 7 major minerals (more than found in wheat, barley or corn). It also has 5g of fiber per half cup! And it's super easy to make and use. It cooks like rice and is just as versatile.

This recipe was adapted from Michael Smith's, the Chef at Home.

You will need:

-Quinoa (either packaged or bulk)
-assorted veggies (carrots, cucumber, onion, celery, radish, green pepper, red pepper
-fresh parsley
-1 can of mandarin orange segments, with juice reserved
-1 fresh lemon
-grape seed oil (or olive oil)
-raspberry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
-salt & pepper

1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa per package directions. Some guides say 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. The brand I use calls for 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/4 cup water. Either way, rinse your quinoa before cooking. I also cook mine in an automatic rice cooker and it comes out perfect every time. Once cooked, fluff with a fork, set aside and let cool.

2. Chop assorted vegetables of your choice into small pieces and throw into a salad serving bowl. I always use carrots, cucumber, tomato and red onion. For the batch in the photo I added radishes and celery.

3. Coarsely chop a bunch of parsley and add to the salad bowl.

4. Grate the zest of your fresh lemon directly into the salad bow, then cut the lemon and squeeze in the juice from both halves.

5. Add your salad dressing ingredients directly to the bowl and mix well. Generally the ratio of oil to vinegar is 3:1. Measure in tablespoons and make as much as you need. Add a splash of mandarin orange juice from the can. I find this salad takes a bit more salad dressing than more salads because the quinoa soaks it all up. Be generous!

6. Season with salt & pepper and toss all the veggies with dressing.

7. Add the quinoa to the salad bowl and mix well.

8. Add the mandarin oranges to the bowl and turn gently to incorporate, careful not to break the pieces.

9. Chill in refrigerator before serving.


-Greek Quinoa Salad: Use cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, black olives, feta and a basic balsamic vinaigrette.


  1. this is similar to my quinoa recipe, except i throw in a spoon or two of tahini. it makes it creamy and delicious and adds that delightful nutty flavour.

  2. I've never used tahini before. Thanks for the tip. I'll keep that in mind for next time. I change my quinoa salad up all the time.


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