Cooking Basics: Quinoa Recipes (Part II)

by Liz Sommer, MS, RDN, LDN

Now that you’ve mastered the art of cooking quinoa, you’re ready to move on to adding it to a recipe.

Below are two delicious salad recipes, both inspired by ones that I have made with kids as a culinary instructor at The Kids’ Table, a healthy cooking school for children in Chicago. Basically, if a six-year-old can do it, so can you.

You can prep both recipes up to five days ahead of time, which means lunch for the entire week. You will need the ingredients listed, a knife, a cutting board, and a container to store your finished product in. Both recipes rely on the same healthy, protein base: quinoa.

NUTRITION NOTES: A one-cup serving of either recipe is less than 350 calories, has 12–15 grams of protein, and is low in saturated (unhealthy) fat. If quinoa isn’t your calling, then replace the grain with brown rice or whole wheat pasta.


Vegan Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked*
  • 1/2 cup black beans (drained + rinsed if using canned)
  • 1 red pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple (use frozen if no fresh pineapple is available)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 scallion
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa and black beans, and set aside.
  2. Chop red pepper, pineapple and avocado into 1/4-inch cubes. Add to bowl.
  3. Use scissors to snip scallion into thin strips. Add to bowl.
  4. Remove papery skin from garlic and mince.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and ¼ tsp. salt. Pour dressing over chopped ingredients.
  6. Toss gently to mix ingredients and distribute dressing.
  7. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Greek Goddess Quinoa Salad

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups quinoa cooked*
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced (white and greens)
  • 6–8 kalamata or black olives, pitted + sliced (optional)
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 1–2 oz. (or a little less than ¼ cup) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, and olives (if you’d like) and stir well.
  2. Add chopped parsley and crumbled feta.
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp black pepper. Mix well. Pour over salad, tossing gently to coat. Add additional salt to taste and enjoy!

* For instructions on how to cook quinoa, see our first quinoa post.