I’ve been obsessed with quinoa salads since I discovered how to cook them a long time ago. This quinoa salad is a terrific way to consume a lot of vegetables at once, and it contains a reasonable bit of protein from the quinoa.
What Is Quinoa Salad?
Quinoa salad is a light, refreshing, and tasty variant of the salad family. Fresh cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, chickpeas, fresh parsley, garlicky olive oil, and lemon dressing round out the ingredients. The salad is similar to tabouleh, a herbed Lebanese salad made with tomatoes and bulgur.
Quinoa is an excellent salad foundation because it absorbs the tastes of the dressing and seasonings. In addition, quinoa is gluten-free, high in fiber, and a high protein source in vegetarian meals.
The preparation method of quinoa salad is almost the same, but I like to make it a day ahead of time, let it cool and chill in the fridge overnight, and then use it for salad the next day. Cold quinoa imparts the best taste to the salad.
Notable Ingredients At A Glance
Quinoa – This salad can be made with either white or red quinoa. Quinoa, in general, has a nutty, earthy flavor. Red quinoa has a stronger flavor, while white quinoa has a milder flavor. Red quinoa has a chewier, almost gritty texture as well. Cook the quinoa a day ahead and let it cool before prepping the salad for the best results.
Vegetables – The choice of vegetables is innumerable. Here are the vegetables I use to make my salad.
- Tomatoes – Red and juicy cherry tomatoes are the most acceptable ones for this salad. However, if you are not finding them, you can use large fresh tomatoes.
- Yellow Corn – Use fresh and yellow corn kernels. If you can’t find fresh corn kernels, frozen would work too.
- Avocado – Avocado adds a creamy texture to the salad. It also adds in healthy fat.
- Black beans (canned or boiled) or chickpeas – They’re high in protein, fiber, and a variety of other nutrients. You can also use chickpeas.
- Coriander leaves or Cilantro – It adds a fresh flavor and complements the other salad ingredients, but if you don’t like it, leave it out.
- Onion – These can be a little strong, so I usually rinse them first before adding raw to remove some of the intense bites.
- Shredded Coconut – The sweetness of coconut adds up to the flavor of the salad.
Olive Oil – Milder refined olive oil or extra virgin olive oil will work well for this recipe
Balsamic vinegar – Adds a rich, deep sweetness with aromas that erupt in the mouth. Traditional balsamic vinegar should pick up the characteristics of the wood in which it matured and may have a faint smokiness.
Honey or maple syrup – I have used natural sweeteners. You may also use sugar.
Salt and pepper – As per taste.
How To Prepare Quinoa Salad?
Begin by boiling the quinoa according to package instructions (you can use red or white quinoa).
Note: Prepare this the night before you are planning to make the salad.
Add the tomatoes, corn, avocado, black beans, onion, shredded coconut, and chopped coriander leaves to a mixing bowl. Mix well along with the quinoa and set aside.
For the salad dressing, whisk olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, honey or maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a bowl and add the dressing to the salad. Mix all of it together and serve.
*NOTE: Quinoa salad is very versatile, so you can add many other ingredients or whatever you currently have. For example, pineapple chunks, mango cubes, sunflower seeds, blanched almond slivers, bell peppers, blanched almonds, sunflower seeds, etc
Some Expert Tips For Preparing Quinoa Salad
- To produce 3 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, start with 1 1/4 cup dried quinoa, rinse and drain well, and then cook according to package recommendations.
- Quinoa salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Quinoa Salad is very tasty recipe and it is very easy to prepare it. It is super delicious and it is a very flavorful recipe.
- 1 cup – Quinoa
- 2 cups – Water
- 1 medium size – Cucumber chopped into cubes
- 1 medium size – Tomato chopped into cubes
- 1 medium – Red bell pepper chopped
- 1 medium – Yellow bell pepper chopped
- ½ cup – Dried fruits and seeds (raisins, blueberries, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. You can use any other seed of your choice)
- ¼ cup – Parsley
- ¼ cup – Mint leaves
- ¼ cup – Cooked chickpeas
- 1 tbsp – Vinegar
- 1 tbsp – Olive oil
- 1 tsp – Mustard paste
- 1 tbsp – lemon juice
- 1 tsp – Honey/Maple syrup
- ¼ tsp – Pepper powder
- 1 tsp – Salt
- Wash and rinse the quinoa thoroughly under running water.
- Keep it aside for 10 minutes.
- Now in a vessel heat 2 cups of water and add the quinoa once the water comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook the quinoa on medium heat till all the water is absorbed. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and keep it aside. Let it cool a little.
- Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and add chickpeas, cucumber, bell peppers, dried fruits, seeds and herbs (parsley and mint leaves).
- Now let us prepare the dressing for the salad.
- In a bowl whisk olive oil, mustard paste, honey, vinegar, pepper, lemon juice and salt. Blend it all well.
- Mix the dressing along with the salad and toss well.
- Serve warm or cold.
Keywords: quinoa salad