Friday, August 9, 2013

Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad is one of our favorite summer salads. I usually make this once a week (even in the winter) and it makes really good leftovers for a few days. We use it as a side dish at dinner, or often times for a quick lunch, I will put some hummus on a whole wheat flat bread, top it with some leftover quinoa salad and just roll it up! 

I made this last night because I am going to a pot-luck get-together with my old co-workers this evening, and I am bringing this as a side. I made a big batch so we could have some here at our house too.

Quinoa Salad


  • 1 ½ cups organic quinoa
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 organic cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ small red onion, chopped (½ cup)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh organic parsley
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • juice of one fresh lemon

1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 14 minutes, or 
until quinoa is tender and small “tails” bloom from grains.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread pine nuts on baking sheet, and toast 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool, then transfer to large serving bowl.
3. Drain quinoa and let cool. 

4. Add quinoa to pine nuts, and 
stir in cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Fold in oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and lemon zest. 
5. Store in refrigerator to marinate at least 4 hours. Serve cold.

(Recipe adapted from

What are the nutritional benefits of this salad? Quinoa is a whole grain and is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa is also a great source if fiber, iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin and manganese. Pine nuts contain lutein (which is good for vision), monounsaturated fats (shown to help reduce bad cholesterol - LDL - and increase good cholesterol - HDL), Vitamins C and D, and minerals iron and magnesium. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene and vitamin C. Red onions are rich in quercetin, a type of antioxidant, as well as vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, folate, thiamin, and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Red wine vinegar has been shown to reduce glycemic levels after eating in people with Type 2 Diabetes. Parsley is rich in vitamins C, K and A. Lemon juice provides a good dose of vitamin C. Olive oil, like pine nuts, contains monounsaturated fatty acids. Cucumbers contains vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), C,D, folate, and minerals calcium, Magnesium and potassium.

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