You’re going to love this delicious, nutritious, and plant-based recipe. This is one of my favorites to keep in the fridge as it keeps well for several days and works well as a side or even as a meal in itself. It’s great for warmer days when you just don’t feel like being in the kitchen for long. Plus it’s a great one to make ahead of time and bring to a pot luck or barbecue that will impress your friends and family. The lime, the fresh herbs, and the crunch of the fresh vegetables make it just oh-so divine!
What’s the deal with quinoa?
Quinoa is a grain in the amaranth family with its origins in the Andes region. It was first grown thousands of years ago by the Incas and was considered sacred (source). Quinoa comes in three colors: red, white, and black. It’s a great protein source for vegans and vegetarians because it’s a complete protein. I love the slightly crisp texture and how filling it is!
About the recipe
I studied abroad in Peru back in 2008 and was a vegetarian at the time. I learned that quinoa is actually a complete protein and so loved finding meal options with this nutritious, nutty-tasting grain. My host mom while I was living there did such a great job of creating vegetarian versions of many traditional dishes, but this recipe is naturally vegan, so it’s something I have loved recreating over the years. I love to serve this as part of a color bowl, but it’s also delicious on its own!
The stars of this recipe are the quinoa, as well as the fresh vegetables and herbs, lime juice and olive oil. You’ll need: 1 cup dried quinoa, a cucumber (peeled, seeds removed), two roma tomatoes (seeds removed), 1 red onion, 1 clove of garlic, fresh lime juice (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup), olive oil, fresh parsley, mint, and cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.
How to make it
Rinse and drain your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Then, boil 1 1/2 cups of water add the quinoa and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vegetables and place them in a large bowl. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the rings around the grains starts to separate. Rinse the cooked quinoa in cold water or let them cool naturally at room temperature if you have the time.
Next, add the cooled quinoa to your vegetable and herb mixture. Mix well to combine and add salt & pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but it’s even better if left to marinate even longer!
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Peruvian Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cucumber peeled, chopped, seeds removed
- 2 roma tomatoes chopped, seeds removed
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1-2 clove fresh garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- Rinse and drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.
- Boil 1 1/2 cup water and add quinoa. Cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables and herbs and place in a large bowl.
- When quinoa is cooked, rinse under cold water until they've cooled or let cool naturally to room temperature.
- Add cooled quinoa to veggie and herb mixture. Mix to combine, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate salad for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors time to marinate.
- Serve and enjoy.