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- Dish type
- Grain salad
This is a gluten free vegan grain salad made with quinoa and lots of fresh herbs.
1 person made this
- 1.4L water
- 2 large bunches curly parsley, stems removed
- 1 large bunch fresh mint, stems removed
- 1 bunch fresh tarragon, stems removed
- 350g white quinoa
- salt to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, or more to taste
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 120ml extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- cayenne pepper
MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:2hr15min › Ready in:3hr
- Bring water to the boil in a saucepan and fill al bowl with ice cold water. 1/2 of the parsley, 1/2 of the mint, and 1/2 of the tarragon to the boiling water. Blanch herbs for 5 seconds, then remove and drop into the ice water. Let cool completely, about 2 minutes. Drain well and squeeze out any excess water. Place herbs in your blender or food processor.
- Rinse quinoa well under cold water. Sprinkle salt into the blanching water. Add the quinoa and simmer on medium heat until just barely tender, about 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mince the remaining herbs.
- Add garlic, lemon juice and olive oil to the blender and blend starting on low speed, pulsing on and off, and finishing on high speed, until dressing is smooth and green.
- Remove quinoa from heat; place in a strainer set over a bowl and drain for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Transfer quinoa to a bowl. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Let cool until it is between warm and room temperature, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir dressing into the quinoa. Continue cooling. If salad is not yet at room temperature, let cool 5 to 10 minutes more. Add the chopped herbs and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until flavors are combined, about 2 hours.
- Taste the salad and adjust seasoning as desired. Transfer salad to a serving bowl.
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The BEST Quinoa Salad – made with nutritious quinoa and an abundance of fresh ingredients like cucumber, tomatoes and bell pepper. Plus it’s all finished with a delicious, bright lemon herb vinaigrette.
Looking for more healthy quinoa salads? Also try my fruity Mango Black Bean Avocado Quinoa Salad and the zesty Sun Dried Tomato Quinoa Salad.
Herbed Quinoa Garden Veggie Salad
I just made this. I wanted to thank you for posting the recipe. It was my first time making a quinoa salad and a dressing from scratch and it turned out great!
Happy Fourth of July Week!
Because I’m a big believer in making holidays last all week whenever possible. PS. Hot, steamy, summery wonderful July coming at us in T-1 day. How.
This morning I’m writing on-location in a little porch with arched doors and windows, sitting in a chair made of branches (no, like, branches from a tree, curled up into a kind of loopy circular chair formation) = basically I’m in the movie the Hobbit. The cabin that we’re staying at with Bjork’s family for our lil’ vacation this week is just incredibly charming. There’s a huge scenic patio (pictured on Insta yesterday!), not to mention arched everything, the biggest stone fireplace I’ve ever seen, twisty, knobby reclaimed wood for days, one of those zippy, sliding ladders that allows you to crawl up to a secret loft with two tiny beds, a hot tub, secret doors and passageways, and real life nooks and crannies of all sorts around every corner. HOBBIT HOUSE. I’m serious.
This cabin trippy is a little different than our usual one with my family because Bjork’s family is a whole five people smaller than our jumbo crew, and there are no youngins to keep the action going which means that ultimate relaxation and slow down time is the name of the game. So right now the agenda for the trip looks something like this:
- Coffee and slow, yummy, at-home breakfast (I’m 900% hungry for these pancakes right now)
- Patio convos and stories and star-gazing at night
- Books and books and books, leading to naps and naps and naps
- Drives, because the highway that leads up to this cabin is considered one of America’s most scenic byways –> THANK YOU
- Small town exploring, like the town we at the base of this bluff that we’re on which has an adorable pie shop and a population of – wait for it – 66 people
- Lunches and dinners like last night’s, where we overlooked the jaw-dropping view of Lake Pepin and wondered why everyone else in the world was not flocking to this destination immediately
- Snacking like it’s my job, thanks to an excellent supply of fresh yummies packed my in-laws
I’m planning to share some pics here on the blog at the end of the week, but if you want to see what’s up before then you can find me sharing pics on Instagram. I’ll try not to get too over-sharey buuut no promises. When you’re staying in a Hobbit house, there is a lot to share.
Recipe today: quinoa salad.
Quinoa shminoa. Another one! and why are all the food bloggers always making quinoa salads? Are you annoyed? I’m annoyed, and mostly at myself. But annoyance quickly faded to insatiable desire for more quinoa when I took one taste of that quinoa soaked with the lemon herb vinaigrette. Holy summer freshness. That is something I need to be eating more of, all the time, every day.
The true reason for this garden veggie salad was that we had a get-together with friends on Saturday and I was in charge of bringing the salad. But when you have to bring a salad to an event where you’re not sure what’s being made as the main, sometimes it’s hard to find something “regular” enough to match with the potential meals. For example, I thought: Greek salad. I love Greek salad. But then what if the kalamata olives don’t jive with the ____ that my friend is making? So salad with fruit! But what if the meal already involves fruit and then everyone de-friends me for overloading them with sweetness?
Big decisions, here. Big time.
So if I’m being real and true, I’ll tell you that I almost wanted to just bring a salad in a bag with ranch dressing. I mean, colorful garden veggies and regular, simple herby dressing just kind of go with everything. But instead of being a salad in a bag person, I became a food blogger making yet another quinoa salad. And IT WAS YUMMY. When you let the quinoa soak up all that simple dressing, great things happen to your mouth.
The beauty about this salad is that you can toss up the quinoa and veggies with the dressing ahead of time, so it gets all extra flavorful and wonderful, but then just bring your greens and toss it all together to preserve the freshness once you get to your friends’ house. Or your potluck. Or wherever you’re going this Fourth of July week that requires you to bring salad.
The ingredients are pretty straightforward. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) has become mainstream in the past few years and is available at most large supermarkets. It’s a high protein seed that has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. It looks like couscous and is eaten like a grain, but it’s actually a cousin of spinach, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens.
Fish sauce is also fairly easy to find. Most large supermarkets carry it in the Asian section and you can always find it at Whole Foods or Asian markets. It’s a dark, pungent liquid used in Southeast Asian cooking. Contrary to what you might expect, it doesn’t add a “fishy” taste to foods at all, but rather a salty, savory flavor. If possible, buy a brand imported from Thailand or Vietnam. And don’t worry about buying a large bottle — it keeps forever.
Begin by cooking the quinoa. The key to success is not following the package instructions, which always call for too much liquid and result in mushy quinoa. The ideal ratio is 1 cup of quinoa to 1-2/3 cups of liquid. Simply combine the water, salt and quinoa is a pan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until the quinoa is done, about 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the little white “tails” sprout from the grains.
While the quinoa cooks, prepare the vegetables.
For the cucumbers, I like to use English (or hothouse) cucumbers because the skin is edible and you don’t need to peel them. They’re sometimes called seedless cucumbers but you still need to seed them, otherwise, they’ll make your salad watery.
Slice the red pepper into bite-sized pieces, thinly slice the scallions and shred the carrot.
Next, make the dressing by combining the fresh lime juice (no bottled stuff!), sugar, vegetable oil, red pepper flakes and fish sauce in a small bowl. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Combine the quinoa with the dressing, vegetables and fresh herbs.
Is quinoa healthy?
Our in-house nutritionist Gabby says: Quinoa is tremendously healthy, especially for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Quinoa is one of the very few plant proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids that our body cannot make by itself, making it a complete protein. Not only is it a rich source of protein, it is also naturally gluten-free, safe for those with celiac disease.
There is much debate about whether quinoa is a seed or a grain. Either way it is a nutrient-dense, high-fiber substitute for things like white pasta. Quinoa is high in many vitamins and nutrients that Americans are deficient in such as magnesium, thiamin, folate, iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.
FAQs and Expert Tips:
Pronounced “keen-wah”, this pseudo seed has an impressive nutrient profile (see below). Quinoa has a rich, nutty flavor and is extremely versatile in cooking. If I’m not using it in a salad or wrap, I use it as a higher protein substitute for rice or couscous.
Here are all of the benefits of quinoa:
- Plant-based complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids.
- Contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat omega-9, and polyunsaturated fat omega-3.
- Contains antioxidant phytonutrients called flavonoids.
- Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
- Contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Herbed Quinoa & Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Last Thursday turned into a fiasco. I woke up and started powering through my to-do list, for once. Emails? Check. Laundry? Check. Groceries? Check. High five, self!
Then my landlord came over to work on some things. As I was talking to him and trying to clean off the counters, Cookie leapt up in a truly impressive feat and swiped a hunk of dark chocolate cake off the counter. She gobbled it down before I could stop her. I tried the hydrogen peroxide thing, but it wasn’t enough, so we zoomed over to the vet.
My Cookie girl spent the afternoon behind closed doors, and we went back the next afternoon, too. We’ve both been moving a little slow since then. She’s generally such an exuberant force, and she’s recovered about ninety percent now. It’s cute when she grabs cabbage from the counter, but chocolate, not so much (I’m careful, too).
I finalized these salad details while she was away, and it was a relief to come home to a healthy dinner after a stressful day. Quinoa salads can be both super nutritious and delicious, and this one is definitely both.
In addition to quinoa (which is cooked to fluffy perfection using my preferred method), I added chickpeas, which are rich in fiber, protein and nutrients like manganeses and folate (source). I added loads of fresh flavor to the quinoa-chickpea base with spinach, parsley, cilantro and green onion.
The salad wasn’t quite awesome enough until I added freshly toasted pepitas and some creamy, crumbled feta cheese (which could be replaced by sliced Kalamata olives, if you’d rather). Then I poured in a zippy, garlicky, lemony dressing made lightly creamy with some tahini. This salad would be a great packed lunch, and it would also be a lovely vegetarian (easily vegan) addition to your holiday table.
Herbed Quinoa Salad
What do you get when you throw a whole bunch of herbs in a food processors, blend them up with a little olive oil and then toss it into a bowl of super healthy grains? Pretty much my new favorite lunch. This herbed quinoa salad is seriously packed full of flavor and then topped cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and feta. It’s pretty much a bowl full of healthy goodness. And the healthy part is key, especially since I’ve spent the last few days indulging in lots of fabulous food in Palm Springs…
These loaded salads seem to be my favorite meals these days. You can jazz them up as much as you want and load them with delicious herbs, veggies, a tad bit of cheese and lunch or dinner is pretty much ready! For this salad, I literally just used a bunch of herbs that I had leftover in my fridge that needed to be put to good use before going bad, and voila… the herbed quinoa salad was invented. You could switch up the herbs and add some basil or dill, or whatever your taste buds are craving… but don’t leave out the mint! It gives the salad an extra pop of freshness!
How To Make Our Spring Quinoa Salad (1 Min):
Right there at the top of the order history was this gorgeous new Canon lens burning a hole through the screen. Mmk, let’s think this through. We share an Amazon prime account (♥) so our purchases are listed together. I did not order a lens, and Bjork did not tell me he ordered a lens. My birthday is in two days.
So then I have to either a) jump up and down on the couch to express my joy about this most awesome ever gift, or b) cry, because I love love love surprises and my birthday surprise is not going to be a real surprise. I went with option A because A NEW LENS!
Bjork knew that I knew, but obvi he still wrapped up the present and let me open it on my real birthday because he’s sweet like that.
So here is the debut of the new lens with this spingy quinoa salad and honey lemon vinaigrette! I am kind of paranoid to tell you that this is its debut because I took these photos in such a pre-salad-eating hungry girl flurry. I love two or three of them (and a few of my unpictured practice shots) aaand the other ones are sort of struggling to get by thanks to my Minnesota nasty weather late afternoon light. But regardless of the light, I knew right from the first shot that I was going to like this lens. I literally I took one single photo of a lemon on the wood table and birthday-present-screamed to Bjork into the other room: OMG I LUV IT.
Thank goodness none of the rest of you have to live with me. Up down and all around.
For you photography peeps who like to know all the techno-details, this is a Canon 2.8 100mm lens. I have a Canon 7D and up until now I was using a 50mm 1.4 (which I also lovey) but sometimes I like to get in really obnoxiously close to the food so you feel like it’s right up in your face. And this lens is how I’m going to be able to make that happen! I have a lot to learn about photography in gen and also about using this lens. And I couldn’t be more excited. Learning is good.
Rah rah for birthday gifts that inspire learning!
Rah rah for salads that taste like a fresh party! Think about these ingredients for a second: quinoa. peas. feta. bacon. fresh basil. fresh cilantro. almonds. honey lemon vinaigrette.
Now think about yourself eating those ingredients and feeling healthy and happy and full. I can imagine this easily because it’s all I’ve been eating in the last 24 hours. Tossed with some spinach and a handful of good crackers (okay fine sweet potato chips) and BAM. Power meal.
Quinoa, Freekah And Herb Salad
A zesty, nutty flavour distinguishes this tasty salad from the ever abundant quinoa salad recipes floating around recently.
The mix of quinoa and freekah is unique, and pairs well with the added nuts and seeds.
A light, summery feel is injected by the herbs and dressing, while the roasted cucumber adds an unusual, but welcome, texture.
Preparation Time : 8 minutes
Cooking Time : 15 minutes
Makes : 4 servings
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup freekah
3 Lebanese cucumbers, quartered and sliced
15g fine sea salt
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
30g raw almonds, roughly chopped
30g sunflower seeds
1 lemon, juice of
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch flat parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
ground black pepper, to taste