Cindi’s Quintessential Quinoa Salad

I wrote about this super, frequently requested salad in another post, and Cindi was kind enough to give me the recipe, so I am going to print it here just as she gave it to me:

Cold Quinoa Salad – Cindi A.

You will need:
Quinoa – (this recipe is based on roughly 3 cups of
uncooked Quinoa)
8- Green onions – separate the white end from the green and dice both finely
1 fresh lemon – take zest off lemon for dressing – finely mince
2 inches fresh ginger- finely grated, skins removed
½ – 1 Tbsp. minced Garlic, minced (more if you like, like, like it!)
Olive oil – (amount should be roughly 3 parts oil to 1 part lemon juice)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup roughly chopped, Cilantro
Pint basket, halved Grape tomatoes
½ to ¾ English cucumber, peeled and diced (I love to use the mini cukes for this salad when I can find them)
1 to 1 ½ finely diced bell peppers. (I like to mix a few different colours of peppers.)
Broth for cooking quinoa

Cook Quinoa and allow it to cool. I use my rice cooker with equal parts chicken broth and water to Quinoa. Drain any additional liquid away from Quinoa. Quinoa is cooked when you can see a white silky line arching the outside edge. I let cool on a cookie sheet, because it’s faster.

While Quinoa cools, make the dressing for salad by combining together the white ends of green onion, juice from lemon, finely minced lemon zest, olive oil, ginger, garlic, and salt & pepper to taste. Shake and let marinate. If it too thick, you can play with the amounts of oil and lemon juice to your taste. Salt is important for a balanced flavor.

While Quinoa cools, and dressing marinates, and if you plan to serve your salad same day; Put Quinoa into a large mixing bowl and add cilantro, green onion (dark ends), tomatoes, cucumber and peppers, additional S &P to taste and serve.

If you want to make your salad a day or so ahead of time, combine everything, EXCEPT tomatoes and cucumbers.

I believe that’s it, peeps. I made this recipe up over the years, so forgive me if it doesn’t make sense somewhere along the line. It’s a simple concept. You’ll figure it out if need be.

NOTE: Allowing Quinoa and dressing to rest in the refrigerator is never a bad plan. Salad is best when ingredients are thoroughly chilled, except for the grape tomatoes of course!


So, I made it almost exactly as Cindi outlined, but you know me, I can’t resist experimenting nearly immediately upon getting a new recipe. Since I try to keep things vegan at home, I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Instead of just using the zest and juice of the lemon, I threw the pulp in too. Then I put the dressing through the bullet blender before mixing it into the salad. I forgot about Cindi’s note about salt and I didn’t add enough (or maybe the veggie broth is less salty), so I sprinkled in a little rice vinegar on my plate to bring out the flavours more. I think that worked too. Next time I might try mushroom broth, or add different veggies like snap peas or edamame along with the ones listed here, because for me it is always about playing with my food. This salad is so good (even better after sitting to develop flavours) and good for you (quinoa is a superfood), that you can go back for seconds with a clean conscience- and believe me, you will! Thanks Cindi, prepare for fame on this one!