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7 Quinoa salads to Try

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I'm of the firm belief that one can never have too many quinoa salad recipes in one's cooking repertoire. Quinoa salad is surprisingly tasty and healthy! It's fairly quick to make, can easily serve a large group of people and keeps well, making it the perfect dish to make when you need something to serve a crowd at a vegetarian or vegan potluck, plus, it transports well for cookouts and barbecues, and is as versatile as your imagination. Feel free to experiment by adding different veggies such as zucchini, corn or even kale or spinach greens.

Whole grain quinoa cooks quicker than most other whole grains and is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians with about 11 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa.  Not sure what quinoa is or how to use it? See What is quinoa?

Here's a few of my favorite ways to prepare a healthy quinoa salad. All of these recipes are vegetarian and they're also either vegan or easily vegan-izeable. Because quinoa is a gluten-free grain, most are gluten-free as well, but be sure to double-check the ingredients.

 

1. Tabbouleh salad with quinoa

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A simple way to make a homemade quinoa salad is to make a tabbouli salad. Middle Eastern tabbouli salads are traditionally prepared with bulgur wheat, but there's no reason you can't use quinoa for a high-protein and gluten-free substitute. This version is made with parsley, mint, cucumber and tomatoes. Reduce the amount of olive oil, or omit it completely for a lower-fat quinoa dish.
See also: Gourmet feta and edamame tabbouleh recipe

2. Black bean and corn quinoa salad

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Quinoa makes a great addition to any bean salad recipe. Made with black beans, corn, quinoa and cilantro dressed in a cayenne-lime dressing, this vegetarian and vegan recipe is healthy, high-fiber, high-protein and gluten-free.

3. Basic simple quinoa salad

All you need for a simple homemade quinoa salad is quinoa, some veggies and a dressing of any kind, and perhaps some salt and pepper or fresh herbs. This vegetarian and vegan quinoa salad has exactly that - no more, no less. It's made with quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers and broccoli and lightly dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of olive oil. A bottled Italian salad dressing could be substituted, if you prefer, but the light and fresh lemon is quite tasty.

4. Quinoa, pecans and fresh herbs

It's nothing but five-stars from reviewers of this quinoa salad with pecans, green onions and fresh herbs. One reviewer called it "wonderful" and wrote: "I took this to a luncheon comprised mostly of people who are not interested in vegetarian foods or even health conscious. They loved it. Ate every bit." What a great endorsement! Another recipe reviewer also loved it with a bit of fresh lemon thyme she had growing in her herb garden.

5. Gourmet blueberry and cheese quinoa salad

A gourmet quinoa salad recipe suitable for breakfast, lunch or even dinner, this healthy recipe is made with blueberries soaked in a fruity vinegar, quinoa, veggies and plenty of cheese and topped off with fresh mint leaves. This might not be your new "everyday" go-to quinoa salad recipe, but it will be a new favorite one to try if you're looking for something fun, creative and new.

6. Greek quinoa salad with olives and artichoke hearts

Year after year, this Meditteranean-inspired quinoa salad with kalamata olives, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of feta cheese (leave it off to make it vegan) is one of the most popular recipes on this site, of all the hundreds of vegetarian recipes I have. Enough said, right?

7. Summer quinoa salad with orange and grapefruit

A homemade quinoa salad (or pilaf) recipe made with oranges and grapefruit in a light and healthy vinaigrette. Need another reason to try and love this healthy whole grain dish? This quinoa pilaf salad is low-fat, high-protein, vegetarian and vegan. It's made with carrots, fresh cilantro, fresh chilies and fresh ginger. And plenty of healthy quinoa.

8. More quinoa recipes to try

Loving all these quinoa salad ideas and just can't get enough? There's so many ways to cook quinoa besides making quinoa salads. Did you know you can bake it into cookies and muffins and you can even have quinoa for breakfast. Check out all this and more ways to enjoy quinoa here
Pictured: Quinoa "fried rice" recipe

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