Easy and Delicious Quinoa Salad Recipes
The Gluten Free Grain You Will Love
I discovered quinoa about a year ago and tried it as a change from eating rice and pasta all the time.
Since then I have been experimenting with lots of different quinoa salads and have come up with some firm favourites.
I have shared my 2 most popular salads here and have also included my 10 favourite quinoa salads by other chefs.
I hope you enjoy experimenting with this super food. Your body will thank you.
Quinoa is high in protein, fibre, magnesium and iron making it a perfect food for healthy eating
What is Quinoa?
and why is it good for us
Quinoa is quite similar to couscous in that is has a similar fluffy texture and is cooked using a similar method but it has a slightly nutty taste. It is one of the only grains that contains significant amounts of protein making it a great food for vegetarian and vegan diets.
Along with being gluten free Quinoa contains good amounts of magnesium, iron and dietary fibre.
It is simple to prepare and can substitute for rice, couscous or pasta in many recipes. You can use it as a breakfast food in place of porridge and even bake it as a crust for a pie or as patties for a veggie burger.
Quinoa is a super versatile food and these salad recipes are a great way to get started eating more of this healthy ancient grain and introduce it to your family and friends.
This salad can be prepared a few hours ahead of time and served warm or cold. The flavours develop well when left for an hour or two before serving
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 large red pepper / capsicum chopped into cubes
- 1 red onion - quartered
- 1 medium sized sweet potato - diced into cubes
- 2 zucchini - sliced into finger thick discs
- 2 finger eggplants - sliced into finger thick discs
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of stock - chicken is great but vegetable stock is fine also
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 -2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 75 grams toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
- 1. Soak quinoa in water for 15 minutes - this helps remove any bitter taste - processed quinoa does not need soaking
- 2. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until all the water has evaporated
- 3. Roast all the Vegetables in a nonstick baking dish, add some olive oil if you wish.
- 4. Remove quinoa, fluff with a fork and leave covered for a further 5 minutes
- 5. Add the dressing items; lemon juice, olive oil, stock, garlic and pepper.
- 6. Place on serving plate, arrange vegetables on top of salad and sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley.
How do you pronounce Quinoa
A rice cooker is a great way to prepare Quinoa
Cooking quinoa in the rice cooker makes it even easier
I love my rice cooker, at first I thought why buy an appliance for something I can prepare on the stove or in the microwave but I am so glad I did. Cooking things like quinoa and brown rice in the rice cooker takes all of the guess work out of it and gives you perfectly cooked grains every single time.
How to cook Quinoa - A beginner's guide
365 Quinoa recipes to get you started
This book is a must have if you are a gluten free eating quinoa lover. There are so many really easy and super tasty recipes here from breakfast to entertaining these recipes will quickly become favourites.
For some people avoiding gluten is really important.
Learn about how gluten can negatively effect the body for people who are gluten intolerant, have gluten allergies, or celiac disease.
This website on the side effects of gluten is a great place to educate yourself.
Saffron and Date Quinoa Salad - A Middle Eastern favourite
- 2 cups quinoa
- 4 cups water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Large red onion
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 8 finely chopped fresh dates
- 2 carrots julienned
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 50 grams pine nuts
- 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1. Cook quinoa in water on simmer until all liquid has evaporated (approx. 15 minutes) - see method above for full details
- 2. In a fry-pan heat oil and fry the onion until soft.
- 3. Add tomato paste and cumin, coriander and cinnamon and stir over low heat for a 3 minutes
- 4. Add saffron and cook for another 2 minutes
- 5. Set aside until the quinoa is cooked.
- 6. Combine quinoa with dates, juices, extra olive oil and parsley
- 7. Sprinkle with pine nuts (or any other nut you prefer) just before serving
Keep quinoa in the refrigerator to maintain freshness
All Quinoa is not the same! - Uncle Bob's is fantastic
Quinoa needs to be washed to remove the outer shell which gives it a bitter taste. Uncle Bobs is carefully prepared so the outer is removed and there is rarely any hull or other bad bits in the bag.
Uncle Bob's is organic, well washed and well-priced when you buy it in bulk like this. It's not the cheapest but it is the best I have found.
What to learn just how great
Quinoa is - Check out this page on Whole food websites
The 10 Best Quinoa Salad Recipes on the internet - My favourite quinoa recipes
Interested in trying more Quinoa? Below are my favourites so far. I would love to hear which your favorite is, leave me a message below in the comments.
- Indian Spiced Quinoa with Chicken
An easy to make low budget dish is equally suited to a main meal salad or part of a buffet.
- Fava (Broad Bean) and Quinoa Salad
- Spicy Quinoa, cucumber and tomato salad
This recipe from the New York Times is perfect for summer with a fresh lime flavour. It can be prepared a few hours in advance.
- Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Sweet potato, basil and feta make this salad a great way to try quinoa for the first time.
- Quinoa Salad Recipe with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas in a Maple Vinaigrette Read
Perfect vegan salad with a sweet maple dressing
- Greek Quinoa Salad
This Greek salad is a recipe for first time quinoa chefs.
- Quinoa Salad with Edamame, Basil and Pine Nuts
This recipe suggests cooking the quinoa in broth instead of water - a method that I love cause it adds so much more flavour.
- Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad
This salad uses pesto as a dressing, another really tasty option.
- Mushroom Quinoa Salad
Mushrooms add even more protein to this simple but tasty salad.
- Quinoa Salad with yellow tomatoes, olives, basil and mint
Love this at bbqs
Quinoa originated in South America
The Incas referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or "mother of all grain"
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