Gluten Free Quinoa Salad

"A recipe me and my mom made up as we went when we first got into eating quinoa. With different variations you can make it vegetarian as well."
photo by Maeleigh photo by Maeleigh
photo by Maeleigh
Ready In:




  • First rinse and drain the Quinoa till the water runs clear to prevent a bitter taste in the finished product.
  • Place the Quinoa in a medium sauce pot with the 2 cups or chicken stock, water or vegetable stock can be uses as well to make this vegetarian.
  • Bring the Quinoa to a boil and then reduce to a simmer with the lid on.
  • Simmer for around 20 minutes until the Quinoa germ is visible, The grain will be slightly chewy but not overly so. Time could vary depending on your stove and your brand of Quinoa some take less time while others take more. The water will be mostly if not completely absorbed when the Quinoa is done.
  • Set the Quinoa aside when it's done to let it cool. Seed and then chop the cucumber and chop some tomato as well to garnish.
  • Once the Quinoa is cooled add the cucumber as well as the olive oil. Use a zester to zest the lemon and then juice the lemon. Depending on the size of the lemon you may only need half the lemon.
  • Add the salt and pepper to taste and mix the Quinoa together. Serve chilled with a garnish of tomato.
  • It's not listed in the recipe but you may toast some pine nuts and add them as well. I omit them from this recipe because I'm allergic but my mother likes them in it.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Incredible flavor! The lemon is perfect in the quinoa even without the cucumber and tomato. I used a small lemon from my tree and it was the ideal quantity.<br/><br/>I do like to follow a recipe as instructed the first time, but I do always question why recipes require deseeding a cucumber when it doesn't eliminate anything that would otherwise be objectionable. I can see how it would be an aesthetic choice for texture...however for the work involved I would be more inclined to dice them whole. Now peeling the rind, that I can see, as many stores put a wax over the skin. I however always wash the exterior of my fruit and veggies.<br/><br/>I accidentally deseeded the tomato as well which added an extra twenty minutes work, since most recipes that ask you to deseed the cucumber do the same for the tomato. Why one and not the other for this recipe is kind of baffling to me, but again I did not make up the rules to this cooking tenet.<br/><br/>Philosophical ganderings aside, without the deseeding, this recipe is very easy to make, and quite forgiving. I accidentally put in 3 tbsp olive oil when I was thinking in my mind about the conversion of tsp to tbsp is three as I poured, 1-2-3. Whoops! However, a little extra oil certainly doesn't hurt the taste, but I can't vouch for the waistline.<br/><br/>I will definitely make this or a variation on it again. The hubby really enjoyed a sample I gave him, and I'm saving the full presentation with tomato garnish to complement a salmon and asparagus dinner I have planned. After that, there are two small tupperware containers leftover for snacks.<br/><br/>Great make-ahead recipe for potlucks too!
  2. I cut this recipe in half for just the 2 of us, using a whole cucumber (although a small one)! Salads something like this, are for us usually rice or pasta, so the quinoa was a nice change, & with the cucumber of tomato, refreshing, as well! Thanks for posting it! [Made & reviewed for one of my adoptees in this fall's round of Pick A Chef]



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