[Recipe] Summer Quinoa

I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook a couple days ago and got such a good reaction that I decided it was blog worthy. I’m still eating the batch I made and it’s just as delicious.

Driving home from work on Sunday evening, I was hungry, tired and craving a shower. My mind turned to “what the heck am I going to make for dinner?” I had not the patience for a long cooking extravaganza. Luckily, quick math reminded me that quinoa only takes 15 minutes and I could definitely multi-task and either shower or get other food thrown together in that time.

I seriously started out thinking I’d just toss some grape tomatoes (my love!) in with quinoa and OH! OLIVES and just splash a little vinegar and oil, sprinkle a little sea salt and pepper and that would totally suffice. But then I got thinking about all the other veggies I could add. Gee, I really needed to get some green stuff in there. And wait, I still had mini peppers. Hmm, mushrooms are nice. OH, and cashews add a nice texture.

So, that’s how this was born.


The veggie chopping is the hardest part, and I have this handheld chopper/scissors like thing from Pampered Chef that made it really easy. I didn’t really measure anything except the quinoa, so these are all estimates. [Vegan and gluten free]

1 cup (dry) quinoa

Wonderful Plants
½ large cucumber
¾ container of grape tomatoes
½ – ¾ of a large red onion
¼ – ½ cup raw cashews
¾ container of baby bella mushrooms ( had the whole ones)
½ – 1 cup olives (I used half green, half black and I used the natural no weird chemical added kind)
5 or so mini peppers (the kind in the bag that are just like lovely little bell peppers)

Sea salt (to taste – I didn’t use very much)
Ground white pepper (didn’t use very much)
Extra virgin olive oil – approx. 1 TBSP
Balsamic Vinegar – approx. 1-2 TBSP
Coriander (a few sprinkles — like everything in this category, it’s to taste)

Garnish – ½ avocado
1-2 cups chopped kale


  1.  Cook quinoa. [Cooking quinoa is 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. Put it in a saucepan and boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to simmer and cover. It takes about 15 minutes to cook down. Let sit for a few minutes and fluff.]
  2. While quinoa is cooking, combine all the wonderful plants in a large bowl and chop! If you don’t have the hand chopper thing, chop in whatever fashion works for you to get the plants bite-sized.
  3. Once quinoa is finished cooking and has fluffed, dump it in the bowl with the veggies and mix it all up!
  4. Add seasoning items and stir! (I didn’t really measure when I added them, but I didn’t use very much. Definitely adjust to taste.)
  5.  Add some chopped kale to a plate to make a bed for the quinoa-veggie combo and serve it up! I added some avocado slices because they are delicious.

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