How to make a delicious Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

As a dietary nutritionist and cookbook author, I am passionate about creating and sharing my recipes.

As someone who has battled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic pain I know only too well how difficult it can be to prepare tasty, healthy meals, and yet, I know how important it is to eat a healthy balanced diet. Incorporating foods that Mother Nature intended us to eat is key to maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Currently my eating style is to have at least seventy-five percent of my plate being vegetables, be it raw or cooked. The rest is usually made up of organic meats, fish, chicken, seeds and nuts.

Introduce food allergies into the equation and menu planning can be tricky. One of my favourite go to foods is quinoa , pronounced “keen-wa”. It is known as the Mother of all grains. Truthfully it is not a grain, but a tiny seed belonging to the goosefoot family, which also includes spinach and beets. It was the main staple food for the Incas thousands of years ago and is now a common organic crop that is grown in Canada and the United States.

Quinoa contains all the eight essential amino acids that make up a protein, so vegetarians would do well to incorporate quinoa into their diet.

Quinoa is very versatile and can be added to soups, stews, ground down into flour to make cookies, pancakes and muffins, and is gluten free. Quinoa has a very mild flavour so it is best mixed with herbs and spices.

Similar to rice you use 2 cups water to 1 cup of quinoa, and it takes only 20 minutes to cook.

By eating one cup of quinoa you will consume:

  • 220 calories (70 percent carbs, 15 percent fat, 15 percent protein)

  • 40 grams of carbohydrates (13 percent daily value)

  • 8 grams of protein (16 percent of daily value)

  • 3.5 grams of fat (5 percent daily value with no saturated fat)

  • A glycemic load of only 18 out of 250

  • 5 grams of fibre (20 percent of daily value)

  • 20 percent of daily value of folate (various forms of Vitamin B)

  • 30 percent of magnesium daily value; 28 percent daily value of phosphorous; iron (15 percent); copper (18 percent); and manganese (almost 60 percent)

Quinoa Salad


1 cup quinoa (250 ml)

2 cups water (500 ml)

½ tsp sea salt (2 ml)


1 tsp sea salt (5 ml)

1/3- ½ cup olive oil (80-125 ml)

1/3 cup lemon juice (80 ml)

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped (125 ml)

2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped (500 ml)

1 bunch green onion, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

1 red pepper, diced


Wash quinoa well and drain. In a pot, cover quinoa with 2 cups of water and ½ tsp salt, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once done, fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and set aside to cool.

Mix dressing ingredients together in a bowl and pour over cooled quinoa. Mix well and refrigerate. Serve on a bed of lettuce with radicchio, or just on crackers or bread.

About the JOY Coach

Shirley Plant

Shirley Plant is the author of Finally... Food I Can Eat, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies. Through Delicious Alternatives she helps people plan healthy, tasty dietary menu plans within the confines of their dietary restrictions. For more information visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her on Facebook.

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