Middle Eastern style Vegan Quinoa Salad made with cooked Quinoa, bell pepper, sweet corn, toasted pinenuts, pomegranate seeds, and a few other ingredients. A filling vegan salad that can also be enjoyed as a refreshing meal.
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I have been obsessed with quinoa from the very first time I ate it. Though it doesn't have any taste of its own I love its texture, look, and the way it absorbs the flavor of other ingredients.
Before the current lockdown, instead of overstuffing my pantry with all the unnecessary ingredients, I just picked up a few basic ingredients which I regularly use in my kitchen. That too in moderation. quinoa is one of those ingredients.
Since I have limited things in my pantry right now, you will see more frequent quinoa recipes on my blog. I have already posted the recipe for lentil quinoa soup a few days back. And, back with another easy quinoa salad recipe today.
Some interesting facts about quinoa
- Quinoa is not a grain but a seed. It's the seed of a flowering plant from the Amaranth family.
- Quinoa is naturally gluten-free.
- It has to be washed before use. Though all the ingredients should be washed before use but there is an extra reason to do so with quinoa. The outer layer of quinoa is covered with Saponin which protects it from insects and birds. If not washed properly it may make the dish bitter.
- There are more than 120 varieties of quinoa and they are found in different colors like purple, red, pink, black, white, and orange.
- NASA declared it as an ideal food for long-distance space flights.
- Quinoa was a part of Inca warriors meals.
Tips to cook perfect quinoa every time
Cooking quinoa is very easy. However, if you are doing it for the first time you may face some challenges. I have even met people who grew up eating Quinoa but still struggle to make perfectly cooked, fluffy quinoa every time.
Today, I am sharing some very easy tips to cook quinoa perfectly. Your quinoa will never be mushy again if you follow these tips.
- Always wash the quinoa before cooking. To wash just put it in a large strainer and wash under running water for a few minutes.
- One part of uncooked quinoa yields 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
- The ratio of quinoa: Water should be 1:2 to get the perfect result. This means if you are using 1 cup quinoa use 2 cups of water to cook it.
- Cook quinoa uncovered for around 15-20 minutes or until the water gets absorbed. After that switch off the gas and cover the pan with a lid. Let the quinoa stay undisturbed in the steam for at least 5 minutes.
Once your quinoa is cooked, get creative and use it in different recipes like salads, soups, fritters, etc.
More vegan salad recipes from around the world
Do you believe in clean eating and looking for easy vegan salad recipes? Don't miss to check my following recipes:
- Kachumber Salad
- Indian Peanut Salad
- Armenian Lentil Salad -Mshosh
- French carrot salad
- Greek potato salad
More healthy quinoa recipes
If you try any of my recipes then please don’t miss to rate it in the comments section below.
Step by step photo instructions
Vegan Quinoa Salad recipe
- 1 cup raw quinoa
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup cooked sweet corn kernels
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts you can use any other nut of your choice
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper use any color of your choice
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 7-8 chopped mint leaves
- 3 tbsp lemon juice adjust as per taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper adjust as per taste
- Salt as per taste
- Put the raw quinoa in a strainer and rinse under running water for around 1-2 minutes. Put quinoa in a pan and add 2 cups of water. Cook uncovered on medium flame until all the water gets absorbed. Cover the pot and switch off the gas. Let the pot remain covered for 5 minutes and then remove the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork. Keep aside.
- In a bowl mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Put the cooked quinoa in a large bowl, add all the ingredients, pour the dressing, and toss well. Check and adjust the seasoning. Enjoy!