Quinoa Salad

Guess who’s back, back again? I’ll give you a hint: it’s this girl, and she’s back all the way from beeeeautiful Europe!

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Okay, that was more of an answer than a hint–BUT only because I’m seriously excited to share all of my adventures with you. As I mentioned in my penultimate post, travel planning for this three-week trip had basically swallowed up my life (and the better part of my sanity) in the months leading up to August, so getting in the groove of blogging again is a super squeal-worthy enterprise. In fact, I got so ahead of myself that the first thing I did after hopping off my 12-hour flight was barrel into the grocery store to pick up a few A LOT of fresh ingredients and start cooking.

There’s really nothing like a month away from home to make you fall madly in love with your kitchen again!

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But more on Europe later, because first I want to tell you all about this quinoa salad. Does it look innocuous and unassuming to you? HA!

Sorry. Sorry.

But also not sorry, because it’s seriously great stuff. The tangy flavors of lemon and rice vinegar in the dressing blend perfectly with the subtly earthy taste of cumin, the nuttiness of sliced almonds, the freshness of chopped tomatoes, and the sweetness of raisins. After three weeks of basically eating my heart out in delicious, occasionally coma-inducing bliss through England, Scotland, Ireland, and Italy, I simply couldn’t wait to create a homemade dish full of greens and vegan-friendly produce. Luckily, I kept a running memo pad throughout my travels of dishes that I wanted to try making (you’ll see them over the next few weeks!), and quinoa salad was at the top of my list. Can you guess where I was inspired?

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On the airplane.

Yup. Culinary inspiration on United. Sounds like the title of a trendy platinum record or something, right? But no joke, this was one of the first dishes I had en route to my travels abroad, and in the interest of recapping my trip chronologically, it made sense for me to start by recreating this simple salad. Plus by the time I got home from the store at, ahem, 10 PM (yes, I’m neurotic like that), I had been awake for nearly 24 hours and was understandably rather tired, so this 20-minute salad was the perfect–and perfectly delicious–solution.

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Next post = the beginning of my adventures in England: stay tuned, and yes, try this salad! It’s a platinum winner in my book.


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This quinoa salad combines the zesty taste of lemon and vinegar with the subtle earthiness of cumin and the fresh flavors of tomato, almonds, raisins, and mint. Perfect for a summer meal or side dish!


  • 3/4 cup whole wheat quinoa
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 roma tomato, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 sprigs of mint leaves


  1. Place both quinoa in a pot and add 2 cups of water. Bring water to a boil, then lower to a simmer over medium heat and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by combining oil, vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Transfer quinoa to a bowl and add tomato, almonds, raisins, and mint. Pour vinaigrette over quinoa mix and toss to coat completely. Refrigerate for an hour before serving!



6 Replies to “Quinoa Salad”

  1. Welcome back! Eager to hear all about your trip. More eager, though, to try this salad — looks seriously good. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, John! Can’t wait to keep sharing this whole month 🙂

  2. Welcome home, Ala! I can’t wait to hear about your trip!! I adore quinoa salads and your speedy recipe looks scrumptious!!

    1. Thanks SO much, Liz–it’s good to be back!!

  3. quinoa salads are my fave! i usually end up making a mediterranean ish version because i always have feta and olives on hand, but i’m loving the sound of the mint and cumin in this one.

    1. hehe yes to the omnipresence of feta! The mint adds a nice touch, you’ll definitely appreciate it 😉

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