This is my all time favorite quinoa salad which happens to be totally delicious and gluten-free. It is also one of my favorite recipe and I make it at least once per week as a main meal. I originally made this gluten-free recipe for my patients which often have gluten intolerance. Then I liked it so much that it became one of my stables. It also helps that it is really quick and easy to make.
Quinoa is rich in proteins and minerals and all the vegetables in this salad are packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as vitamins. This salad is therefore super healthy and good for you! I have always loved Tabbouleh, the middle eastern salad with parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber and bulgur so this is my version of it but I made into a main meal on its own instead of a side dish. Tabbouleh usually has just a little bit of bulgur in it whereas I use a fair amount of quinoa instead. This salad is easy on the digestion and it is also vegan (if you skip the halloumi which is optional anyway) and I still have not met anyone who does not like it. If you fancy something delicious to drink after this salad I can highly recommend my Chai Tea Recipe which beside being tasty will also aid digestion and give you a glowing skin.
I adore parsley and there is a large of amount of parsley in this salad which is a great way to eat parsley regularly. Parsley is a medicinal herb high in vitamins and minerals, especially iron. It is diuretic and anti-inflammatory and can improve flatulence, stomach cramps, arthritis and urinary infections. Parsley is also a women’s herb used for period pain and to stimulate bleeding.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cucumber
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- juice from half a lemon
- 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch of flat Italian parsley (about 60 g)
- 1 shallot
- 150 g halloumi plus oregano (optional) or tofu/tempeh if vegan
- salt and pepper
- Put the quinoa and water in a saucepan with a lid and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool down.
- Chop all the vegetables and put into a salad bowl with half of the quinoa. Add lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Slice the halloumi, sprinkle with oregano and fry on medium high heat in oil until golden brown on both sides. For vegans fried slices of tofu or tempeh would go well instead of the halloumi.
Note that I use only half of the boiled quinoa in this recipe. The reason for that is I find if I try to boil only half that amount it does not come out well. Instead I keep the other half of the quinoa in the fridge and use it the next day to make this salad again! Then it takes only about 5 minutes to make.
I tend to eat big portions of salads so this recipe is just for me on my own. If you are using it as side dish then it will easily last for 2-3 people.
Anna Rósa is a medical herbalist and author of the bestselling book Icelandic Herbs and Their Medicinal Uses. She is the founder of Anna Rósa Skincare and a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in UK, which is the oldest herbalist institute in the world, founded in 1894.