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Red Quinoa Salad with Cauliflower and Walnuts

Red Quinoa Salad with Cauliflower and Walnuts

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  • 1/2 cup red or white quinoa
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley plus some picked leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add quinoa and simmer until fully cooked, about 15 minutes. Drain and return quinoa to pot. Cover with a lid and let it sit for 5 additional minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl or sheet pan to cool.

  • Combine cooled quinoa and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if desired. Transfer to a large serving bowl or platter, and scatter parsley leaves over. Serve cold or room temperature.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,Photos by Maria del Mar Sacasa

Nutritional Content

7 servings, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 210 Fat (g) 7 Saturated Fat (g) 2 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 12 Dietary Fiber (g) 12 Total Sugars (g) 2 Protein (g) 1 Sodium (mg) 220Reviews Section

  • 1 Head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), chopped into florets
  • 1 Pound carrots, sliced about 3/4 inch thick
  • 1 Parsnips, sliced about 3/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 Cup red quinoa, rinsed and picked through
  • 1 Lemon, for zest and juice
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower, carrots, and parsnips with 2 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, and salt and pepper. On two rimmed baking sheets, spread the vegetables. Roast until slightly browned, 25—30 minutes, rotating sheets and tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cook quinoa according to directions on box.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper.

In a pan, toast pumpkin seeds over low heat for about five minutes, being careful not to burn.

In a large bowl, mix together roasted vegetables, quinoa, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds. Pour lemon dressing over the salad and stir to combine.

Formula Meals: Quinoa Salad

I’m being very efficient today by combining my monthly Recipe Redux post with a Formula Meals post! This month’s Redux theme is spring cleaning. We were challenged to go through our pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge and choose an ingredient, spice, or condiment that’s been hanging out for a while. Then share a healthy recipe made using this new-found pantry prize. I decided to use this theme as a way to clean out my fridge. And what better way to clean out your fridge then to make a quinoa salad?

I perfected the quinoa salad last summer when I was doing some catering for a client. I made her a different quinoa salad each week and got pretty good at it. I discovered quickly that there was a formula for creating the most delicious quinoa salad. You don’t need a recipe, but the best iterations were those that contained a few specific ingredients.

I was never a real quinoa fan before making these salads for my client. Now I know that if I have some quinoa already made in the fridge, a delicious meal is just 10 minutes away!

What’s the Formula?

1 part quinoa: I like to mix the red and white quinoa together (or buy the tricolor). To make, use one part quinoa and two parts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 18 minutes or until the water is absorbed. I like to add lemon zest to the pot while cooking and then add a squeeze of lemon after cooking.

2 parts vegetables: here’s where you can get as creative as you want. Whatever you go with, make sure you chop into bite-sized pieces. Some ideas are: steamed asparagus, chopped cucumbers, sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped zucchini, chopped broccoli (steamed or raw), fresh/frozen corn or peas, sliced radishes, chopped bell peppers, roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted cauliflower, etc.

1 part greens: the trick for adding the greens is to make sure you chop them into bite sized pieces! I love using softer greens like baby kale, spring mix, baby spinach, arugula, watercress, pea shoots, etc.

1 part fresh herbs: fresh herbs add so much flavor, don’t skip this part! Experiment with chopped basil, mint, parsley, tarragon, dill or cilantro.

1 part fruit: you can use fresh or dried fruit here. I love sliced apples, grapes, and strawberries. Dried cherries, cranberries, currants and golden raisins are fun, too!

1 part nut: Every salad needs some crunch — sliced almonds are my go-to but I also love chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts!

Always the same: a simple dressing of 2 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar (of your choice), salt and pepper, juice from half a lemon, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, a few drops liquid stevia or 1 tsp honey.

Other optional add-ins: black beans, chick peas or lentils are also a nice touch to any quinoa salad.

Prepare quinoa and let cool while you chop the vegetables. If using already prepared quinoa, place 1-2 cups into a large bowl. Add your chopped vegetables, greens, herbs, and fruit to the bowl. In a small Mason jar, add the dressing ingredients and shake well. Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine. Top with nuts and serve.

A Frenchtown Kitchen & Garden

Eating raw vegetables makes me feel virtuous and it makes me feel better. As the weather warms up - if it does this year - I am less inclined to cook anything, unless I'm trying to use up last season's freezer contents.

Surveying the contents of my cupboards on a recent weekday, I noticed the remains of a bag of dried cranberries and a bag of quinoa. Thus the idea of a broccoli quinoa salad was born.

There is a plethora of similar recipes on the Internet. I like mine because it makes use of leftovers from other recipes and one item that's always in my crisper: fresh broccoli.

I felt this salad called for a sweet dressing, so I cobbled one together. It's similar to the typical broccoli-cauliflower-red-onion dressing, which usually calls for cider vinegar, a bit sweeter. You can adjust the measurements to your palate.

  • 2 cups fresh broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red cipollini onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Penzeys Rocky Mountain Seasoning*
  • dash sea salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • dash of brown sugar, if needed

Using a whip, blend dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a spout. Before serving, add to salad.

The salad may be assembled several hours before serving. Dressing is best served fresh salad will become watery if stored with dressing.

Other additions to this salad include: Bacon bits, blue cheese, and fresh apple pieces. Roasted almonds make a good replacement for walnuts pecans work, too.

It's been two weeks since I've personally shopped for groceries, although my husband makes frequent runs to the market. "Shopping your pantry," as the expression goes, does not have to mean tasteless, boring meals.

*Rocky Mountain Seasoning: Bell peppers, Parmesan cheese, salt, sesame, poppy, shallots, arrowroot, and white pepper.

Cauliflower Quinoa

This Cauliflower Quinoa recipe is a real palate pleaser. It’s savory and delicious, with lots of protein and other nutrients, but without many calories. One cup is only about 183 calories. That makes it a great weight loss recipe.

Due to its high protein content and nutritional value, quinoa has risen in popularity over the last few years, which has also led to an increase in its price. Quinoa can be quite expensive now, but Whole Foods has a Super Grains blend that’s much less expensive. Feel free to substitute that for pure quinoa.

This is a great one dish meal for lunch, or paired with a soup or side salad if you have a bigger appetite.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant based eating.

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa uncooked
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 small cauliflower chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/2 tsp thyme dried
  • 1/2 tsp basil dried
  • 1 tbsp parsley fresh
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh

Serving size is 1 Cup of Cauliflower Quinoa.

Share this entry

I tried this recipe for the first time last week, and we all agreed that it was EXCELLENT, thus we are going to enjoy it for the 2nd time this evening.

Great! That’s one of our favorites! Thanks for letting us know!

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  1. Combine the quinoa and chicken stock in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir, then turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook for 12 to 16 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the stock is absorbed. Spread the cooked quinoa on a plate to cool. Refrigerate if you are not assembling and serving the salad shortly.
  2. Assemble the salad in a large bowl, combine the chicken, walnuts, cherries, mint and arugula. Add the cooled quinoa and the vinaigrette, then stir and toss gently to combine and coat the ingredients with the dressing. Add the prepared Jerusalem artichokes and toss again to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
  1. In a screw-top jar combine the honey, vinegar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Cap the jar tightly and shake vigorously until the vinaigrette is blended and smooth. Shake again before using. Makes about 2/3 cup.

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I adore this time of year when soups are put on the back burner, and it’s time to serve salads galore.

I eat salads nearly every day for lunch and dinner — to lighten up my meals, I usually start building my meals with a bed of spinach or arugula. When I am making lunch, I love to add some roasted veggies along with some fresh veggies, and then top it with walnuts or an egg, or sometimes some leftover chicken or fish from dinner.

Occasionally we all need a fancy salad though, and here is the perfect one to start with.

While dreaming up how to dress up this quinoa salad, I knew I wanted it packed with fresh summer flavors. We love greek salads, so that was a start. Then to make it extra special, I decided to add one of my favorite summer fruits — nectarines.

Buying fresh, sweet nectarines is the key to making this salad!

And honestly, you aren’t going to want to miss this bright green summery dressing. Whisk together some olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, minced garlic, and lemon juice, and then I take chopped mint and basil, and whisk together all the ingredients. You can also throw it in the blender and give it a whir, which will yield a beautiful bright green dressing.

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