Quinoa, the tasty grain native to South America, has recently been getting a lot of attention. This grain is an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron, vitamin E, and magnesium, so it is no surprise that it has become popular among health food enthusiasts. It is often used in vegetarian or gluten free dishes, since it provides so much protein. One cup of dry grain will make roughly 3 cups of cooked quinoa, so just a small amount of the grain can make a very filling meal. Grains are very easy to prepare, and its pleasantly nutty flavor works well in a variety of dishes.
Read more information about quinoa.
Salads are one of the best ways to eat quinoa, since they are both healthy and delicious. Fortunately, most quinoa salads are very simple to make, and no fancy kitchen equipment is required. The flavors of quinoa work well with a variety of cultural cuisines, and quinoa salad can be a nice side dish or a hearty main course. Here are some of the tastiest quinoa salad recipes.
- Grecian salad
- Pad Thai salad
- Red grains and bean salad
- Salmon salad
- Spring salad with chicken
- Salad with radishes and greens
- Cucumber, radish salad and miso vinaigrette
1. Grecian Quinoa Salad
Though quinoa is not traditionally grown in Mediterranean areas, the fresh and tangy flavors of olives and feta cheese complement quinoa’s mild taste. This recipe combines the classic flavors of a Greek salad with quinoa. It is already a vegetarian meal, but the feta cheese can be removed to make this recipe completely vegan. Grecian quinoa salad can make a tasty side dish, but it is actually hearty enough to make a complete meal. This salad gets tastier as it sits for a longer time, since the flavors taste amazing when they get the chance to blend together.
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 clove garlic, finely ground into a paste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup pitted olives (preferably kalamata)
- 2 green onions
- 1 small red onion
- ½ English cucumber
- ¼ cup feta cheese
1. Combine the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic in a small bowl. Slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl while vigorously whisking it to make a smoothly emulsified dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Put the quinoa into a strainer and rinse it in cold, running water until the water is clear. This step removes the outer coating from the quinoa, and it is very important to prevent a bitter taste.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa, water, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the saucepan to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer until the water is absorbed into the quinoa, which should take about 15 minutes.
4. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Halve the cherry tomatoes, finely slice the green onions, dice the red onion, and slice the cucumber.
5. Once the quinoa is cool, combine it with the tomatoes, olives, onions, cucumber, and salad dressing in a large serving dish.
6. Refrigerate the quinoa for at least 1 hour. Before serving it, remove it from the fridge and crumble the feta over the top of the salad.
2. Pad Thai Quinoa Salad
Thai food is known for being the perfect blend of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. This recipe uses those iconic flavors to spice up quinoa and make a healthier version of everyone’s favorite thai dish, pad thai. Though the agave is not exactly traditional, it is used to make a smoother and less sugary version of the typical Thai dressing. Asian fish sauce is a specialty ingredient that adds a unique flavor, but if it cannot be found, than soy sauce may be substituted. Though this recipe is vegetarian, shrimp or chicken can be included to make it even more substantial. This salad can be eaten while still warm, and it is also delicious when chilled.
- ½ cup agave nectar
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp Asian fish sauce
- 2 tbsp chili hot sauce (preferably Sriracha)
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cups dry quinoa, well rinsed
- 3 cups red cabbage
- 2 cups matchstick carrots
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 cup roasted, chopped peanuts
- 4 green onions
1. Combine agave, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, hot sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl. Stir well until completely blended. Set the dressing aside.
2. Place the quinoa and 3 ⅓ cups of water in a saucepan. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it to a low simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
3. Using a food processor, shred the red cabbage into bite sized pieces. Peel and remove the seeds from the cucumber, and cut it into one inch pieces. Remove the roots from the green onions and finely slice them.
4. Assemble the salad in layers of cooked quinoa, shredded cabbage, matchstick carrots, bean sprouts, and cucumbers slices. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro, roasted peanuts, and sliced green onions on the top. Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
3. Red Quinoa and Bean Salad
Though white grains are the most common type of quinoa, it actually comes in multiple colors, including red, gold, and black. There are not any differences in nutritional quality, but red quinoa tends to hold together better in salads. Red quinoa is also slightly chewier than white quinoa, and it has a richer flavor. The stunning color looks particularly well in salads with a lot of fresh, brightly colored vegetables. This recipe is nice and colorful, due to the black beans, yellow corn, and green avocado. The dressing gives this recipe a distinctively tasty delicious American Southwestern flavor.
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 ground garlic clove
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
- 1 14 oz can of black beans
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 Haas avocado
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 finely chopped green onions
1. Put the lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic clove in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk to thoroughly combine. Set the dressing aside.
2. Rinse and drain the red quinoa. Place it in a small saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and cook until all of the water has been absorbed. Red quinoa may take slightly longer to cook than white quinoa, about 17 minutes.
3. Place quinoa in a bowl, fluff it with a fork, and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
4. Wash the red bell pepper and dice it into small pieces. Chop the avocado into one inch square pieces.
5. Add the beans, pepper, green onions, corn, and avocado to the bowl. Gently pour the dressing over the salad, and toss it until it is well mixed.
6. Allow the salad to come to room temperature before serving.
4. Quinoa Salmon Salad
The nutty flavors of quinoa work very well with fish, and salmon is no exception. This recipe takes the classic combination of salmon and avocado and turns it into a tasty salad. Since not everyone likes mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt can be substituted in order to make the dressing. The addition of sharply tangy arugula leaves and a creamy dressing are sure to make this salad a favorite.
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise or sour cream
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lb salmon
- 1 Haas avocado, diced
- 2 cups arugula
- salt and pepper
1. Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the mayonnaise or sour cream, and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate it until needed.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Lightly toast the quinoa in the pan. Add the broth and a pinch of salt to the pan and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the quinoa until all of the broth is absorbed, roughly 15 minutes.
3. While the quinoa is cooking, heat 3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, place the salmon in the pan. Lightly salt and pepper the salmon, and drizzle it with the remaining lemon juice. Cook the salmon for a few minutes, until browned and crispy, and then flip it over and cook it for a few more minutes. Check to make sure that the salmon is cooked through the middle, and then remove from heat.
4. Combine the quinoa, avocado, and arugula in a large bowl. Add the dressing and stir to mix thoroughly.
5. Divide the sauteed salmon into portions. Serve the salad by placing it on plates and topping it with the salmon.
5. Spring Quinoa Salad with Chicken
Since quinoa is such an excellent source of protein, it is often used to create vegetarian dishes. However, quinoa is also delicious with meat, and adding some extra meat to a quinoa salad will transform it from a pleasant side dish into an extremely filling meal. This light recipe is full of tangy flavors and fresh spring vegetables that complement the chicken. Even though it is packed with chicken and vegetables, this salad is still light and refreshing.
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 ⅓ cups water
- 4 scallions, separated into white and green parts
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh peas
- 1 lb asparagus
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a medium sized saucepan at medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, put the white parts of the scallions into the pan. Saute them for 3 minutes, until they are soft.
2. Halve the chicken breast, and place the chicken, quinoa, water, and lemon zest into the saucepan. Bring the pot to a boil, and then cover it and reduce it to a low heat. Simmer the pot for 11 minutes.
3. Wash the asparagus and slice it into one inch long pieces.
4. Add the peas and asparagus to the pot, and cook for about four more minutes.
5. Once all of the liquid has been absorbed and the vegetables are tender, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the chicken from the pot, shred it, and then return it to the saucepan. Add the chopped parsley, the remaining olive oil, and the lemon juice to the pan. Season it to taste with salt and pepper, and stir it well to combine. Serve immediately.
6. Quinoa Salad with Radishes and Greens
This is one of the easiest meals you can prepare in your kitchen.
After enjoying a taste of French breakfast radishes last winter, I thought about slicing these jewels to come up with a classic combination that includes butter, arugula and a little salt to add taste. I also imagined how delicious it can be to add tart lemon, fresh basil and greens to quinoa and came up with two easy recipes that you should consider.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup of baby greens or micro greens
- 1/2 cup of sliced radishes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons sliced basil
- 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 1/2 cup quinoa
Put your quinoa to a strainer, rinse thoroughly using water and then drain. After rinsing, place the quinoa in a medium saucepan containing 1 cup of water, butter and teaspoon of salt. Boil them mixture and then reduce the heat to allow them simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes. Remove your pan from heat and allow it to stand covered for about 15 minutes. Fluffy using a fork and then spread your quinoa on a plate to cool.
Toss the quinoa with the other ingredients.
Taste as you add salt. You can serve it with a bed of lettuce or alone.
7. Quinoa, cucumber, radish salad and miso vinaigrette
Radishes and cucumber makes this one of the most refreshing Asian inspired recipes. Prepare this for your family during the upcoming summer season and everybody will smile the whole day. Apart from the wonderful taste, this food is very nutritious for your family.
- 1/3 and 2-3/4 chicken broth or lower salt vegetable
- 3 tablespoon white miso
- 1 1/2 cups of quinoa (red)
- 1 medium cucumber
- 10 ounce radishes
- 2 ounce baby greens such as kale or arugula
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (neutral)
- 2 tablespoon chopped sushi ginger
- 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
Put the broth and vinegar, sesame oil, miso and soy sauce in blender in order to combine them thoroughly. With the motor of the blender running slowly, add your canola oil in order to come up with a cream like dressing. Add your ginger and the proceed to pulse it severally (Alternatively, you can chop the ginger and then whisk all the ingredients together).
Using a saucepan simmer the remaining 2-3/4 cups of broth using medium heat. Add your quinoa and cover before turning the heat to medium or low. Cook it until your quinoa become tender and the all liquid gets absorbed. This can take 10-15 minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to stand for about 3-5 minutes. Uncover and then fluffy using a fork. Allow it to cool to room temperature for about 30 or more minutes.
Toss your quinoa, radishes, cucumber as well as the greens together. Add the 3/4 cup of Vinaigrette. Toss and then serve (You can save the remaining Vinaigrette for other dishes).
In conclusion, you have no recipe to spend sleepless nights wondering what to prepare for your family during the holiday. Quinoa salad with radishes and greens recipe is easy and nutritious. In case you want to prepare any other meal, keep checking on this site for more recipes and tips on how to cook.