Cold Quinoa Rainbow Salad

 in Kitchen

Quinoa is having a moment in the hearts and minds of people.
For good reason, the nutty grain is easy to cook and has an impressive nutrient profile. 

After being on the back shelf in health food stores for years it’s now in just about every major grocery store. Isn’t it about time to learn how to cook it? 

If you didn’t know, my very first recipe on this blog was quinoa.

What’s in a cup of quinoa
7 g protein
5 g fiber
3 g fat
Manganese, phosphorus, copper, Iron, magnesium and zinc

Why rinse your quinoa:
The outer coating is a bit bitter or has a soapy taste, but it easily washes off.
Enhancing flavor is why it’s important to rinse quinoa before eating it.

How to cook 1 cup of quinoa
Just like rice quinoa will double, prepare yourself accordingly to have enough for your family.
I usually cook 1-2 cups a week. 

Cooking Base Quinoa for Use

1 cup dry uncooked quinoa
2 cloves garlic
1 ⅔ cups water
1 whole dried clove
½ fresh lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Measure 1 dry cup of quinoa and rinse in a fine mesh strainer.
Use your hand to swish around the grains and rub them slightly against the mesh. 

Add the washed quinoa a 2 chopped cloves of garlic to a small pan and heat on medium. 

Toast the grains slightly until you can smell them.
Add 1 ¾ cups of water, salt, pepper, clove and a squeeze of lime juice.
Mix everything together.

Bring the pot to a boil, cover and reduce the heat.
Cook on low for 10-15 minutes until quinoa is soft and there is no extra water.
Use as desired. 

Cold Quinoa Rainbow Salad

I love this cold salad as a make ahead recipe or at the last minute.
It is flexible to use any raw fruits and vegetables you have in the fridge.
It’s great to accompany sandwiches at lunch or burgers at dinner.
You could even take it to a potluck, dinner, or picnic invite. 


2 cups cooked quinoa (see recipe above)
½ cup blueberries (or other fresh berry of choice)
1 whole sweet pepper (can be made with ½ of two colors)
1 mango (or apple, pear or peach)
1 cup spinach (or kale)
5-10 leaves chopped basil (or mint)
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery 
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the quinoa as noted above (the trick here is to have a tasty quinoa to start with).
Chop fruits and veggies into bite size pieces.
In a medium sized bowl mix the chopped fruits and veggies with cooked quinoa.
Cover with salt, pepper and lime as desired.

Serve chilled or room temperature.

Don’t skip on the basil or mint, these fresh herbs impart a lot of the flavor.
If using an apple instead of mango, do not cut and add until time of serving.
Alternatively, cover the cut apple pieces completely in lime juice before mixing into the salad. 

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