Tomato cucumber quinoa salad that is paired with some refreshing salsa. A perfect light summer meal, and is super flavorful yet really easy to make !
I had to admit, I am not a fan of salads. I prefer cooked veggies over raw ones. It probably has something to do with me growing up as a Chinese. We Chinese always eat our veggies cooked.
This vegan quinoa salad is seriously a life changer for me. It is one of those salad recipe that I actually enjoy and crave for. It is light and refreshing, yet filling enough to keep me full for a few hours. And the best part is, this quinoa salad is so damn easy to make, and minimal chopping required !
What is quinoa
Despite being called an " ancient grain " , quinoa is actually a seed. It is naturally lower in carbs and higher in protein compared to rice. ( I am not saying that quinoa is better than rice, I am just stating the facts. ) Quinoa is gluten-free and considered a whole protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids that our body needed. Many consider it a " superfood " due to its high nutrients content. If you are interested to learn more about quinoa, I recommend reading this article by Everyday Health.
What you will need
- Quinoa of any kind
- salsa ( check out how to make your own fresh tomato blender salsa )
- corn kernels
- cherry tomatoes
- olive oil
How to cook quinoa
- Start by rinsing the quinoa. You might need to rinse it 3-4 times to remove its natural coating ( saponin ) which makes the quinoa bitter.
- For a part of quinoa, you need 2 parts of water. As we are using ½ cup quinoa, you are cooking it with 2 parts water.
- In a pot, combine quinoa, water and a pinch of salt. ( you can use vegetable broth if you have them on hand )
- Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa. Serve !
And there you have it ! Cooking quinoa is the most time consuming part in this otherwise easy quinoa salad recipe. After that, everything is as easy as ABC .
How to make
Cooking the quinoa is the first step. While the quinoa is resting, chop up your grape tomatoes and cucumber and cook the corns and peas. After that, all you have to do is mix in the olive oil and salsa ! Simple, right !?
Oh, and did I mention this vegan quinoa salad is meal prep friendly ? You can simply double or triple this recipe when making it. That way, you will have a batch of healthy high-protein lunch waiting for you in the fridge !
Other easy vegan quinoa recipes
Have a large bag of quinoa sitting in your pantry and have no idea what to do with it other than this recipe ? Here are some easy vegan quinoa recipes that I absolutely love :
- Quinoa Veggies Black Bean Burgers by Emilie Eats
- Vegan Quinoa Casserole by Simply Quinoa
- Quinoa Tabbouleh by From My Bowl
- Healthy Vegetarian Biryani by Warrior In The Kitchen
Easy Vegan Quinoa Salad Recipe
For the quinoa
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup water
- pinch of salt
For the salad
- ½ small cucumber, chopped ( about ½ cup chopped cucumber )
- ½ cup grape / cherry tomatoes* quartered
- ½ cup frozen / fresh green peas
- ½ cup corn kernels
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup salsa **
For garnish ( optional )
- handful of toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 stalk green onion chopped
- Start by rinsing the quinoa. Rinse it for at least 3-4 times to remove the bitterness of quinoa.
- Place all ingredients for the quinoa into a pot / saucepan and bring it to a boil, then decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Place the lid on and let it cook for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid.
- Remove the quinoa from heat and let it stand, covered for 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook your frozen corn and peas by boiling them in water for 2-3 minutes. Strain your corns and peas after they are done cooking.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, including the quinoa. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Garnish and serve ! I like serving mine with my homemade hummus .