Tri-colored Quinoa Salad with Seasonal Vegetables

At the time, I made this quinoa salad in the summer season when heirloom tomatoes, squashes, and basil were flooding the farmer’s markets.  I keep to the basic technique but switch the vegetables as the seasons change, so for the winter months try roasting butternut squash or adding various kales. This recipe is perfect for potlucks, picnics, or for a veggie packed lunch at home!  AND IT’S VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE!!


Any amount of…

  • QUINOA or other GRAIN (I buy Trader Joe’s tri-colored quinoa. You can use any color of quinoa. Make according to package, a little goes a long way so make about 1 cup of raw quinoa.  Add it to boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 mins, strain out as much liquid as possible, then run under cold water to cool and keep refrigerated until ready to mix.  Alternate grains: farro, wild rice, barley)
  • COOKED VEGETABLES (i like sauteed kale, roasted beets, roast zucchini, sauteed mushrooms, blanched peas.  After cooking, let them cool in refrigerator.)
  • RAW VEGETABLES (celery, cucumbers, canned garbanzo or kidney beans, tomatoes, red onions, fresh corn kernels)
  • FRESH HERBS (chopped parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, mint, tarragon, or all of the above)
  • ACID(lemon/lime juice or sherry/champagne vinegar)
  • HIGH QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (be creative and try nut oils or citrus oils)
  • SALT AND PEPPER (try spices such as cumin or curry powder)
  • LEAFY GREENS (a few handfuls of wild arugula or chopped raw kale won’t hurt!)
  • NUTS (optional: slivered almonds, crushed hazelnuts)

METHOD: All hot ingredients, cook and let it cool before mixing with cold ingredients.  Then season generously with salt, pepper, olive oil, and acid.  MIX TOGETHER!  The key is to make sure it is seasoned well.  It should have a nice balance of acid as well as salt since quinoa is very bland on it’s own.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The picture above contains:

  • Kale, zucchini, chopped garlic all sauteed then cooled before adding to salad
  • Raw celery, drained/rinsed kidney and garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh chopped parsley, cilantro, mint, and basil
  • 2 limes and 1 lemon, juiced (all to taste)
  • A generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, lemon oil, and sherry vinegar
  • A generous amount of kosher salt
  • Black pepper