Saturday, June 20, 2009

Aztecan Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, pronounced /keen-wah/, is a grain that when cooked has a light and fluffy texture as well as a mild, slightly nutty flavor. It is usually served as an alternative to rice or couscous, but unlike rice or couscous, quinoa is a complete protein source and is highly appreciated for its nutritional value.

This quinoa salad is light and can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. It can be served alone or as a great side dish. I made this in anticipation of a Father's Day picnic we are having tomorrow following a day of hiking at Silver Falls. Easy to make. Easy to store. Easy to serve. Isn't that the criteria for picnic food?


1 1/2 cups quinoa
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 English Cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, leaves only, chopped
Romaine lettuce leaves
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and sliced for garnish
Cracked Black Pepper Garnish (optional)


1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Shake the sieve well to remove all moisture.

2. Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and ground pepper. Set aside.

3. Mix cucumbers, red onion, parsley, and mint together in a large bowl.

4. When quinoa is dry, add to the bowl with the vegetables. Stir well. Add oil-vinegar mixture and toss well.

5. Serve on lettuce-lined plates, topped with avocado slice and optional cracked pepper garnish.

Recipe from

Yields: 8-10 side servings. Each serving contains: Calories 205; Total Fat 12.5g; Saturated Fat 1.7g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 354mg; Total Carbohydrates 19.9g; Dietary Fiber 2.5g; Sugars 1.4g; Protein 4.2g; Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 10%; Calcium 3%; Iron 10%


suz said...

YUM! That looks good. Thank you for putting the nutritional value {you know, so I can figure out WW points :) }

Mamahollioni said...

I like the nutritional information for the food I eat, so I thought it would be useful for others as well. I'm glad you find it helpful:-)

Anonymous said...

excellent points and the details are more specific than elsewhere, thanks.

- Mark

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

Anonymous said...

Hi! The name of this drew me.. it sounds really good, &looks amazing - but Quinoa is from modern Peru, so Incan? And amaranth is Aztecan..

Mamahollioni said...

You bring up some good points....I found the recipe on and copied the title and ingredient list:-)