Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Quinoa Salad - Quick, healthy and fulfilling breakfast/supper

What's Quinoa ?

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds. It's a highly nutritious carbohydrate, that helps you to stay lean as well as maximize your energy levels at the same time. Its nutritional profile is similar to that of brown rice, but quinoa is higher in protein. Quinoa is great for cardio-vascular health, boosts your anti-oxidant levels, reduces the risk of gallstones, full of fiber and could help lower migraine. It's gluten-free and cholesterol-free! Most importantly, it's delicious!

How to cook Quinoa ?

First, it is essential to rinse quinoa atleast 3 times by changing water, in order to get rid of the bitter taste from the saponin coating. It's cooked much like rice, with twice the volume of water (or slightly less). It can be cooked in a closed pan or a rice cooker or a microwave. When cooked, quinoa is fluffy, crunchy and a little creamy!

Here's a simple salad with veggies, fruits and nuts added to cooked quinoa. This is one of the quick ones I make whenever I want to stay away from Indian masalas, yet eat something tasty. Feel free to add or deduct veggies, fruits and nuts to suit your family's taste buds! :-)

Nutritious & delicious Quinoa salad - So easy to make!

Yield - 2 people

Prep time + cooking time - 25 mins

What I Used for the Salad-

Quinoa - 1 cup (rinsed)
Water - 1 and 3/4 cup
Olive Oil - 1 tsp

Onions - 2 (chopped)
Garlic -  4 pods, finely chopped
Carrot - 2 medium (cubed)
Cucumber - 1 (chopped)
Tomatoes - 3 (chopped)
Fresh Coriander leaves - a small bunch, finely chopped

Apple - 2, cubed
Raisins - about 50 grams
Cashewnuts - a handful
Hazelnuts - 2 handfuls

Salt - to taste
Pepper - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 2 drizzles

Add ons :

Pine nuts - toasted
Peanuts - roasted
Strawberries - fresh!
Feta cheese! 

How To -

  • Boil water with a drop of oil in a pan. Meanwhile, rinse quinoa about 3 times to get rid of the foamy saponins. This step is important, else you'll end up with bitter-tasting quinoa. Add rinsed quinoa to boiled water and close the pan. In 12 to 15 minutes, it's fully cooked (all the water is absorbed) and looks fluffy with thin white rings around. Let the cooked quinoa cool for atleast 10 minutes.

Quinoa, rinsed with water

Cooked quinoa

  • Heat about 1 tsp of olive oil and fry garlic and onions slightly. Don't brown them. 

  • Toast the nuts on an oven or a tava without any oil.

  • Peel the veggies and chop them ready. Cube apples.

  • Take a big salad bowl, add the slightly fried onions, garlic and all the chopped veggies, apples, nuts, raisins and sprinkle required salt, pepper and a little asafoetida. Toss everything gently. Squeeze some lemon juice if desired.

Healthy n tasty Quinoa salad

Enjoy this sumptuous salad for breakfast or dinner!


  1. That is one healthy salad:-) I have been planning to try Quinoa for a long time..Now i am soo inspired to get one pack:-) One more todo item for the weekend:-)

  2. Quinoa i have never tried so far. Sounds interesting and healthy salad

  3. Thanks, folks! Do try to include quinoa in ur diet...i also made upma with quinoa and that was tasty too...something different for the taste buds!

  4. This is my favorite one..I love it..Bookmarked


  5. Quinoa is a staple in my house hold and this salad looks great.

  6. I want to echo Sadhana's comment and say that quinoa has been a staple in my home since i discovered 2 years ago - We love it - you should also try the red one if you can find it :)

    Enjoyable post!

    1. Sure, will try the red one too :-) thanks for the motivation!

  7. very interesting post...love the health benefits of quinoa..;)

    Tasty Appetite

  8. Pinning this one; always looking for recipes to use my quinoa; thank you.

  9. I've always wondered how to cook quinoa. Thx for sharing! :)

  10. Glad to find so many quinoa-enthusiasts! :-) thanks, folks!


Did you like it? Found something interesting? Do you have a alternate way of doing it? Please leave a line here. Thanks!


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