quinoa salad with veggies and herbs

Friday, April 8, 2011

I know quinoa has reached its trendy zenith but I must say that I've been enjoying my ride on the quinoa bandwagon for years now. And I don't know how I know this (I tend to have a sticky memory for Random And Useless Information) but quinoa is a seed, not a grain as most people believe.  

I can't help myself but share this stupid trivia with anyone whenever they are making quinoa's acquaintance.  

Them, usually: "Wow! What is this healthy grain? How do you spell/say it?"

Me, knowing I'm annoying: "You know, quinoa, pronounced 'KEEN-wa', is actually not a grain at all."

Them, shocked: "Really?"

Me, knowing I sound like a douche but not being able to stop myself: "Yes, it's in fact a seed."

Feel free to steal this douchey and braggy seed tidbit.  And even throw in the fact that quinoa was a major food staple for the ancient Incas.  Just make sure to feed them something delicious afterward so they'll forget you acted like a know-it-all.

The thing that makes this salad so delicious is the boatload of olive oil involved. You could use less but it won't be as good.

Quinoa Salad
serves 4

1 cup quinoa (I mixed the red and the regular together but you don't have to)
heaping 1/2 cup small-diced tomatoes
heaping 1/2 cup small-diced cucumbers
heaping 1/4 cup chopped green onion, white and light green parts only (I used 3)
7T minced parsley
4 heaping T minced mint
4T lemon juice
6T olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
1 t sea salt (more to taste if desired)
lots of freshly ground pepper

Rinse the quinoa in a sieve (it has a bitter coating on the outside that serves as a built-in pesticide.  OMG, why do I know so much about quinoa?!)  Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa and cook it like pasta for 12 minutes.  Drain well. You can throw the quinoa back in the hot pot for a couple minutes to dry it out even more if you like. Transfer it to a bowl. When it's cooled to room temperature, add the remaining ingredients, stir, and season to taste. Don't skimp on the salt and acid--it makes all the flavors sing!

Happy Friday!

P.S. Quinoa has 9 grams of protein per cup. Lord help me.


  1. Jolie- whenever I rinse the quinoa a bunch of it falls out of the sieve. and then if I line the sieve with a paper towel the seeds (thank you, now I know they are seeds) just stick to the towel. what kind of sieve will work?

  2. Kathryn,
    Try a fine mesh one like this:

  3. YAY! QUINOA!!!
    Thanks for this, darlin! you're the best!!


  4. This sounds delicious! In the fall I make this quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and it is SO good:

  5. MMMM thank you Queen of the Quinoa!! Sounds great


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