This easy quinoa salad is healthy, light, and delicious. The perfect dish to beat the summer heat.
I have been melting in all this recent hot weather. Thankfully grilling and a bevy of quick and easy salads are getting us through mealtime. This easy quinoa salad with a tangy fresh herb dressing is perfect for a crowd or just to portion out and enjoy all week as a healthy lunch.
I made this salad way back at the beginning of July for a get-together at our house with every intention of posting the recipe sooner rather than later. That didn’t exactly pan out. I’ve been a tad overbooked and a bit uninspired in the kitchen this summer. That’s not to say I haven’t been enjoying myself, it’s just that I haven’t wanted to really “work” on blogworthy recipes and writing things down and retesting recipes, etc. I haven’t had the time or desire. I’ve just wanted to make dinner or lunch in a hurry in order to enjoy the little bit of downtime that I do have this summer.
That’s why we spent this past Sunday just relaxing. I felt a little guilty for a “wasted day” because there was a mountain of laundry and weeds in the garden waiting for me, but boy it was just what I needed. That’s when I decided this week I was finally going to sit down and share this new recipe.
Unlike some plant proteins, quinoa is a complete protein. That means it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make on their own. Additionally, quinoa is naturally gluten-free, thus if you are gluten intolerant you can safely eat quinoa.
You need to rinse quinoa with cold water before cooking it. This helps get rid of the bitter-tasting compound (saponin) that coats the tiny seeds. Boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, but I think it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse yourself.
Making Quinoa Salad
Other than cooking the quinoa, the rest is no cook. Simply chop and mix together the ingredients.
Healthy, light, delicious, and really easy to make are all the requirements necessary for a great summer meal in my book. This recipe fits the bill. I don’t think I need to say more. Just make it for your family, a party, or yourself, and then go out and enjoy the rest of your summer doing whatever makes you happy, even if that means, doing a lot of nothing.
Easy Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup dry quinoa rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup fresh shelled peas
- 2/3 cup diced French breakfast radish
- 2/3 cup diced carrots
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chive
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
- 1/3 cup pepitas
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, maple syrup, ground cumin, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Combine cooked quinoa, peas, radish, carrots, garlic, pepitas, parsley, chives and oregano in a bowl.
- Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator.
Photos by Renato Ghio