This is a Simple Quinoa Salad recipe that is amazing, easy to prepare, vegan, gluten-free, and healthy.
Quinoa is an amazing ingredient. It is very wholesome and filling. You can cook quinoa in vegetable stock to get maximum flavor into it. Plus, adding fresh vegetables take this simple salad to the next level. Finally, this salad is finished off with a tangy and citrusy lemon salad dressing. You can enjoy this salad for lunch or serve it as a side with your favorite dish. It is easy to make, so you can feed a crowd easily.
For those who haven’t tried quinoa or don’t cook it more often, it’s time to start incorporating this dish into your diet. If you are searching for easy, healthy, gluten-free, and vegan salad recipes, then look no further. This is one of the best vegan salads you can prepare.
What is quinoa?
Although quinoa looks like a grain, it is not a grain. In fact, it is a “pseudo-grain.” That’s because it is used as a grain and offers more nutrients than any grain available.
This pearly beaded ingredient is around 7000 years old and is a staple in several parts of the world. It is not just easy to grow but is loaded with nutrients making it a superfood.
Quinoa comes in three types, i.e., white, red, and black. White quinoa is most commonly used all across the world. The red and black types are, however, a bit rare.
Is quinoa salad healthy?
Yes, quinoa salad is very healthy. That’s because every ingredient used in this salad recipe has some benefit to give. Here is a breakdown of ingredients and the nutritional value they offer.
- The main ingredient that adds tons of nutrients to this salad is quinoa. It is known for being rich in protein and fiber. Moreover, this ingredient is also referred to as a superfood. That’s because it is loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Every ingredient used in this salad is gluten-free, thus perfect for people with celiac diseases.
- Avocado is yet another ingredient used in this salad. It is also rich in vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin E. Moreover, it is also high in minerals.
- Cucumber, tomatoes, and sweet corn kernels also offer several nutrients to the body. Moreover, when you add more vegetables, you add increasing the nutrient content of this salad.
- Lastly, the ingredients used in lemon dressing are also healthy. We already know the benefits of using fresh lemon juice. Moreover, adding olive oil means you are choosing healthy fats to add to this salad.
Here is what you will need for making this simple quinoa salad:
- Quinoa: There might be a few types of quinoa, but not all these areas are commonly available as the others. The most commonly available quinoa or regular quinoa is white in color. It has pearly beaded grains and is loaded with nutrients. You can easily find it at every grocery store. You don’t really have to soak quinoa before cooking it. Simply rinse it, and that will do.
- Vegetable broth: Vegetable broth is made from vegetables. It is not just a vegan ingredient but holds the essence and flavors of several vegetables. When you cook quinoa in vegetables, you are adding so much flavor to it. You can use either homemade or store-bought vegetable stock. If you are buying premade vegetable stock, make sure it is low in sodium.
- Cucumber: Cucumber adds freshness and a crunch to a salad. It is usually an essential ingredient in a salad, and it is a refreshing herbaceous flavor just right for any salad.
- Cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are small-sized tomatoes. They have a tomato-y flavor but are very juicy. They burst with flavors and juiciness as you bite into them.
- Sweet corn kernels: Sweet corn kernels not just add flavor to the salad but also add a pop of color. The yellow color makes this salad visually very appealing.
- Avocado: Avocado has a mush and smooth texture. It might not have a flavor of its own, but it sure is loaded with healthy nutrients.
For the Lemon Dressing
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a citrusy and acidic flavor to the dressing. This dressing has a prominent lemony flavor which makes it refreshing and tasteful.
- Maple syrup: To balance out the tartness of this dressing, we are using maple syrup for its sweet and caramel-like flavor.
- Olive oil: Olive oil sets the base for this dressing. When mixed with lemon juice, you get an oily and slightly creamy base. Since it is in oil, it sticks to the ingredients of the salad, ensuring you get the flavor in every bite.
- Green onions: Green onion has an onion-like and grassy flavor. Its savory flavor ends up giving an umami taste.
- Cilantro: Freshly chopped cilantro has a citrusy and complex flavor.
- Cumin: Adding cumin to this dressing will add a warm, earthy, and comforting flavor to this dressing.
- Salt: Season this dressing with salt as per your taste.
How to make quinoa salad?
You can make a delicious and healthy quinoa salad in no more than 30 minutes. Here is what you have to do:
Step 1: Start by cooking the quinoa for this salad. For that, you will first have to rinse it a couple of times to get rid of any impurity. It’s easy to rinse it in a fine-mesh sieve. Now, add it to a saucepan along with the vegetable broth.
Step 2: Place the vegetable broth over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the water is evaporated. Once done, set it aside to cool down.
Step 3: Now prepare the dressing by adding lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil, cilantro, cumin, spring onion, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix it to incorporate everything using a whisker or a fork.
Step 4: Once quinoa is cool, put it in a large salad bowl. Add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sweet corn, and avocado.
Step 5: Pour the lemon dressing and toss so that everything is well combined. Serve immediately.
Tips for making quinoa salad
Here are a few tips and ideas that will make this simple quinoa salad taste even better:
- Cucumbers and avocados are not all you can add to this salad. You can make it even more tasteful and full of texture but adding vegetables like red onions or bell peppers.
- If you are missing leafy greens, try adding baby bok choy to this salad. It will add a different flavor to this salad. Moreover, you can also add arugula, kale, or baby spinach.
- Add black beans not just for some color but for making this salad more wholesome.
- If you don’t have vegetable stock available, you can cook it in water and add vegetable bouillon to it as well.
- Adding fresh or dried herbs like basil, dill, tarragon also enhances the flavor of this salad.
- Adding nuts like walnuts, pine nuts, or cashew nuts add a crunch to the salad and makes it even healthier.
Can you store quinoa salad?
This salad is super easy to store. You just have to place it in an air-tight container and refrigerate it. It will be set fresh for up to 4 days. Moreover, you can also make it in advance for your parties, or lunch and store.
Also, you can store cooked quinoa and use it later with freshly chopped vegetables to enjoy a tasteful and healthy salad.
Here Are Some More Quinoa Salad Recipes:
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- Energy: 318 kcal / 1329 kJ
- Fat: 15 g
- Protein: 10 g
- Carbs: 37 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 20 min
- Ready in: 30 min
- For: 4 servings
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped if not organic
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup organic sweet corn kernels
- 1/2 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
- Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Bring vegetable broth and quinoa to boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender about 15-20 minutes, Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, cumin, cilantro and spring onion. Combine quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, sweet corn, and avocado in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- In a large bowl, toss quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, sweet corn, and avocado. Pour dressing over quinoa salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.