Keen-what? – Quinoa and Veggie Salad

Our family has hit a new level of rushing about. We are always in a hurry — whether we’re trying to get to classes and appointments on time, doing grocery shopping, or cleaning and cooking. That rushing around coupled with some very hot summer temperatures means that I’m working hard to have the stove/oven on for as little time as possible. Keeping the temperature in our kitchen below a sizzling 30C is definitely a good thing. And most days this works — especially when we pick something like this quinoa salad to eat.

Quinoa Salad | EmmaEats

G and I once had quinoa many years ago. We were invited to dinner at a friend’s place – and neither of us can quite remember how the quinoa was prepared.  What we do remember was that it was not good. So much so that when I made it for us the first time,  G was incredibly hesitant to try it. Emma, on the other hand, was very open to giving it a whirl and when she reacted so positively to it, G knew that he had to try it as well.

This is a very popular (at least in our household and with visiting friends and family) and flexible recipe. As a result, we tend to eat quinoa at least once a week. The quinoa itself can be prepared in the morning, while it’s cool outside and you have your windows open, and served warm at lunch or at room temperature for dinner. Emma loves it, especially because we have a few variations that we eat. I love it because it is healthy, quick, easy and so flexible.

Quinoa Salad

(serves 6-8)

Salad (raw vegetable version):

  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cubed
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen corn, frozen or thawed or fresh corn kernels if available
  • 7 or 8 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped coarsely

Salad (roasted veggies version):

  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 2 zucchini, roasted and cubed
  • 1 medium eggplant, roasted and cubed
  • 1 medium spanish onion, roasted and chopped coarsely
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, roasted and chopped
  • 7 or 8 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped coarsely


  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp pesto
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Bring the broth to a boil and add the quinoa. Simmer on medium-low for 15 min or so. The broth should be absorbed and the quinoa grains should be translucent and have little white rings.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer it into a serving dish.

While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.

Once the quinoa is ready, top with the remaining ingredients. Combine and serve, either warm or cold, with or without dressing.

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Rinse the quinoa before you cook it (Thanks Carol, for mentioning this!). It’ll remove the bitter tasting saponins.


  1. Carol L

    Mmmmm. Your first experience with it was similar to mine. What I figured out was that if you don’t rinse the quinoa before cooking it, it ends up bitter. My kids used to love it but now they won’t touch it. Crazy.

    • Well, that may as well have been it. I’m not willing to try not rinsing for fear that it’ll be horrible and we (read: Emma) won’t want to eat it again either 😉

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