There are many reasons why you should include quinoa in your diet. It is both delicious and very healthy for us! The quinoa is a very rich source of protein and it contains all nine essential amino acids. Plus, it doesn’t contain gluten, so it is ideal for those who follow a gluten – free diet.
You can use quinoa in many recipes for lunch and dinner, but in this article we particularly chose the salads. They are easy to prepare and yet give you many nutrients! Scroll below to see which ten made our list.
1. Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach and Quinoa Salad
Perfect for warm summer days, this salad would almost make you feel as if you’re somewhere on the Mediterranean coast and having lunch with a view. You need just few ingredients to prepare it – 1 cup quinoa, ⅓ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach or arugula, ⅓ cup sliced almonds, ¼ teaspoon olive oil and salt to taste. You can also prepare a lemon dressing, it would definitely make things even more delicious.
2. Green Goddess Quinoa Summer Salad
Here’s another recipe inspired by the Mediterranean kitchen – we simply can’t help it because there so many recipes worth sharing! This one is coming from the Greek cuisine and it includes three main ingredients – 2 cups cooked quinoa, 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes and 2 cups spinach leaves. The other ingredients are up to you – feel free to add handful of nuts, grilled chicken, or mozzarella balls – or all of these!
3. Sesame Ginger Quinoa Salad
This salad is rich with veggies and will surely give you many needed nutrients! Besides that, let’s not forget to mention that it will make you feel full as well. To prepare this salad you don’t need to cook anything in advance except for the quinoa. You need 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups shelled frozen edamame, 3 medium carrots, 1/2 yellow pepper, 1/2 red pepper, 1 cup red cabbage, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 3 teaspoons fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds.
4. Mexican Quinoa Salad
And now let’s see what the Mexican cuisine is offering us. This salad has all the needed ingredients for an excellent quinoa meal, such as seasoned black beans, greens, corn and cilantro. But, what makes this salad better than anything else is the creamy orange, lime and chili dressing. It all takes 30 minutes to be ready, so it makes the recipe worth saving for busy or lazy days.
5. Chicken Caprese Quinoa Salad
If you feel like the salads we’ve shown you so far miss meat, then feel free to add some. Here’s a recipe you can write down – 1 cup uncooked quinoa, 2 cup cooked, shredded chicken, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 8 oz mini fresh mozzarella balls, ¼ cup fresh basil leaves and ¼ C red onion. Considering the fact that the salad contains chicken, it will leave you feeling full longer, and since it’s really delicious – you might come back for more.
6. Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad
We can never have enough of summer salads and this one is really perfect because it has berries and who doesn’t love berries? Besides their sweet taste, there is an interesting mix of flavors thanks to the presence of the gorgonzola cheese and the spinach. If you want to prepare this salad, here are the ingredients that you need 2 cups cooked quinoa, 1 heaping cup blackberries, 1 heaping cup blueberries, 1 heaping cup raspberries. 1 cup baby spinach, 1/2 cup basil, 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds.
7. Cranberry Cilantro Quinoa Salad
Here’s something for the fans of cranberries – if you haven’t thought about eating your favorite fruit in a quinoa salad, then here is a recipe that will change your mind. You need 1 cup dry quinoa, 1 + 1/2 cups water or broth, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 3-4 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro, juice of 1 lime, 1 additional lime, 1 + 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/8 tsp cumin, 1/2 cup bell peppers or sweet mini peppers, 1/4 cup chopped green or red onion, 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds, 1/2 cup carrots, 2-4 TBSP pepitas, salt and pepper to taste and olive oil for drizzling.
8. Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad
Ready in 40 minutes, this quinoa salad contains sweet potatoes, which are very healthy and for those who are trying to lose weight – these are less caloric than the white potato, so you might want to switch. Make sure you have the following ingredients – 1 sweet potato, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 cup dried quinoa, 1 cup water or stock, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup fresh herbs, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion and 2-3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds.
9. Mediterranean Warm Quinoa Salad
There are so many varieties of the quinoa salad in a Mediterranean style that is simply so hard to pick just one. Or two. That’s why we put few of these on the list, not just because they are so delicious, but they’re very easy to prepare too. Unlike the others salads here, besides the quinoa base this one contains butternut squash, feta cheese and cauliflowers. Add few more ingredients too, such as herbs and spices and you’re ready.
10. Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad
And last on the list we have something for the upcoming season. If you’re tired of all the summer-y recipes, then here’s one for fall that you might like. You need 1 cup uncooked quinoa, 1 delicata or acorn squash, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of red pepper to taste, kosher salt + pepper, 1 1/2 cups baby kale, 1 apple cored + thinly sliced, arils from 1 pomegranate, 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or roasted pistachios, 8 ounces halloumi cheese and 1 avocado .