The Toss-Up: 7 Quinoa Salad Recipes
Native to South America, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) cooks like a grain but is, in fact, the seeds of the goosefoot plant -- a relative to leafy greens such as Swiss chard and spinach. A typical serving of quinoa -- hailed as a modern superfood -- contains nearly twice as much protein as white or brown rice and fills about half of our recommended daily intake for magnesium, a vital nutrient that helps relax muscles and has a positive effect on blood pressure.
Available in a variety of colours -- white, black and red -- quinoa looks good on the plate, too. Plus, it's ready in about 12 minutes. Below are seven super quinoa salads that are delicious on their own, topped with your protein of choice for lunch or served on the side at dinner.
Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries and Apricots
In this colourful salad, chewy chunks of dried fruit are added to quinoa, then tossed with a zesty citrus-ginger dressing. Let the flavours meld overnight for a dish that tastes even better the next day.
Fresh Quinoa Veggie Salad
Gently cooked sweet carrots and earthy turnip lend delicious fall flavours to this hearty salad, made even more nutritious with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs and drizzled with a garlicky vinaigrette.
Avocado and Quinoa Salad
One of our most popular recipes, nutrient-dense avocado lends creaminess to the subtle chewiness of quinoa in this salad, while diced red onion and a few dashes of hot sauce add bite.
Confetti Quinoa Salad
Tasty chickpeas pump up the protein in this colourful meal, a savoury mix of feta cheese, crunchy veggies and pine nuts tossed in a tangy balsamic dressing.
Warm Halloumi Quinoa Salad
Soft grilled halloumi cheese meets tender beets, sweet fennel and peppery arugula in this pretty salad drizzled with a sweet orange-mustard finish -- a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
Quinoa Pilaf (pictured above)
Fragrant fresh thyme and orange zest make this pilaf the perfect partner for fish, chicken or pork, whether served on the side at dinner or topped with leftovers for lunch the next day.
Rachel McAdams' Quinoa Salad Nosh
Rachel loved it, and so will you! Toasted nuts, dried fruit, fresh herbs and a blend of spices, such as star anise and nutmeg, combine beautifully in this celeb-worthy healthy salad.
Photography, Natalie Sorichetti (Quinoa Pilaf).