Have you ever tried quinoa? Pronounced KEY-nwah, this nutrient-rich superfood isn’t a grain, but a seed — though often labeled as whole-grain and prepared similarly to rice and oatmeal. It’s an overall healthy option to bulk out a salad and add to your healthy carbs roster. A quinoa salad is possibly one of my favourite things to eat in the spring and summer. This is partly because I love the salad recipe I’m sharing today and partly because the tiny seeds that are quinoa elevate the salad with extra nutrients to fuel our muscles and overall body.
One cup of quinoa is 222 calories and is packed with the following nutrients:
- Protein: 8 grams.
- Fiber: 5 grams.
- Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
- Plus so much more!
Fun fact: Quinoa was an integral crop for the Incan Empire and powered their army. Now that’s a superfood!
As the weather gets warmer, salads will become a refreshing addition to the meal rotation. This quinoa salad is one of my go-to spring meals. It’s a protein-rich vegetarian option that even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy. It’s filling on its own or a great accompaniment to a healthy sandwich or a light soup. Enjoy!
Healthy Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander
- 2 cups water
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas OR 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 medium cucumber seeded and chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 3/4 cup red onion Optional if you want to avoid onion breath!
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley or chives finely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice 2-3 lemons
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves pressed or minced garlic Optional if you want to avoid garlic breath!
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
To cook the quinoa
- Combine the rinsed quinoa and the water in a medium saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 15 minutes, reducing heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes, to give it time to fluff up.
To make the salad
- In a large serving bowl, combine the chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and parsley. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and salt. Whisk until blended, then set aside.
- Once the quinoa is mostly cool, add it to the serving bowl, and drizzle the dressing on top. Toss until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Season with black pepper, to taste, and add an extra pinch of salt if necessary.
Discover more healthy meal options in the Nutrition section of my site Journal!