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Summer quinoa salad

This fresh salad is an easy nutritious meal which can be thrown together using a variety of cooked and raw vegetables.

  • L/D Lunch/Dinner
  • DF Dairy free
  • GF Gluten free
  • Ve Vegan
  • VG Vegetarian
  • S/S Sides/Snacks
  • Prep time 10 mins
  • Cook Time 25 mins
  • Serves 4-6
  • Difficulty easy


  1. Place quinoa in a colander and rinse under cold water.
  2. Cook quinoa in the water using absorption method on low heat (10-15 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, steam beetroot for 10 minutes then add carrots and steam for a further five minutes.
  4. Add red wine vinegar, oil and mint to cooked vegetables while still hot. Season to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the raw ingredients and add to the cooked quinoa.
  6. Add the cooked, dressed vegetables and toss through.


Substitute celery with Lebanese cucumber. Add other steamed seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, green beans or asparagus. Cooked chickpeas or pine nuts could be added to the salad for a vegan option; and feta added for a vegetarian option.

Serving suggestions

As the quinoa is a complete protein there is no need to add an additional protein source to the salad. However, for a heartier meal, serve with cooked fish, meat or chicken. Leftovers are great for lunch with tinned fish.

Nutritional information

By Jean Hailes naturopath and herbalist Sandra Villella

This recipe is a variation of a traditional tabouleh using quinoa instead of burghal (cracked wheat). Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true grain cereal but rather a pseudocereal or more like a seed. It is treated as a grain in cooking and has a lovely nutty taste.

This salad is an easy nutritious meal which can be thrown together using a variety of cooked and raw vegetables. I've used raw celery, but other seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, green beans or asparagus could be steamed and added instead.

I've chosen beetroot because it's one of the foods richest in antioxidants. Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, and seem to be loved by all age groups and taste great with fresh mint. The mint and parsley are aromatic herbs which help to calm the digestion, and are green leafy vegetables rich in minerals.

Unlike other grains, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein. It has a high protein content of 12-18 per cent. Protein helps us feel more satisfied, provides sustained energy and helps to decrease sweet cravings.

Quinoa is gluten-free and therefore suitable for coeliacs or those who are gluten intolerant. Black and white varieties of quinoa are available; the black is crunchier and has a stronger taste – a combination of the two varieties can be mixed together.