Quick and Easy Red Quinoa Salad

A picture of a bowl of red quinoa salad with orange mangos, green avocado and limeYesterday morning friends invited us to an impromptu cookout at the beach. The text included “bring an item to grill and a dish to pass.” Incline Village is a small town and while the local deli has a plethora of go-to party items, they are pricey and run of the mill.

This quick and easy red quinoa salad is just what a cookout needs. Start to finish in less than 30 minutes it’s both tasty and beautiful.

If you haven’t had quinoa before you are missing out! It has a slightly nutty flavor and is most often used as a slow cooking whole grain, similar to rice or wheat. However, quinoa is really a seed, which means it’s gluten-free. Additionally, it’s a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids, great for vegetarians and vegans.

According to CalorieCount, 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa has 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. For more about the nutritional value and why quinoa is such a great addition to your diet see here: Nutritional value of quinoa

Most packaged quinoa is sold rinsed but it’s best to check the label. If you are buying from a bulk bin, which is the most cost effective way, make sure to rinse the quinoa. Rinsing it prior to cooking removes the slightly bitter flavor it gets from its protective covering.  For a little additional flavor, try adding a little a veggie stock to the cooking water.

Quick and Easy Red Quinoa Salad

1/2 C uncooked Quinoa
1 C water
1 tsp Veggie stock
Pinch of salt
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed, chopped
4 cucumbers peeled and diced
2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 avocado diced
1 firm small mango, chopped
2-3 TBS Olive oil
1 fresh lime squeezed
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil add veggie stock. Add quinoa, reduce heat cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until all water is absorbed.

Allow quinoa to cool. Toss in all remaining ingredients. Adjust spices to taste.

The salad’s flavor is best when this salad is served slightly chilled or at room temperature.

My husband prefers the red quinoa. He says it tastes better. My palate must not be that refined because I don’t notice a difference in taste. However, I prefer the color and when you are adding several green ingredients, parsley, cucumbers, and scallions it creates an impressive appearance.

If you liked this recipe try the Red Quinoa Salad with Kale and Corn. It’s slightly more time consuming to create but another tasty and healthy favorite to keep you eating healthy and fit over 40!

cj "cathy jo" johnson




CJ Johnson’s Fitness Transformation Blog
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