Recipe: Super Powered Super Protein Quinoa Salad

Imagine a world where we always felt super strong!

He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

  ~ Alexander Hamilton

Anyone up for a super powered, super nutritious, and super delicious recipe to help us stay strong?

There are few foods that fit the bill quite like quinoa does, as this amazing super food boasts some truly impressive nutritional qualities.

Quinoa is often referred to as a grain, but from everything I’ve read, is actually the seed of a plant. This could explain it’s super packed punch of pure complete protein, and it’s super light texture and taste.

And of course, if you are one of those folks who has yet to try it, you are most surely in for a treat as I’ve yet to meet a vegetarian, vegan, meat eater, or otherwise that doesn’t appreciate it.

It just makes you feel that good.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

  ~ Frederick Douglass

When it comes to quinoa, it really is all that and more.

Just ask the Bolivians, who have been eating it (where it originates) for centuries.

With the sudden rise in popularity of quinoa in North America and across the globe, it has been written (this New York Times article from last year is a great read) that the effects of this new demand for this amazing food have had some very interesting ripple effects on the diet of some of the people of its homeland.

It is for this reason I try to take (just a little) extra care not to burn quinoa when I cook it, and not to leave any languishing in the pot at the end of cooking (if at all possible). Of course, in a perfect world, we would do this with anything we cook or bring into the house, as food waste of all forms is really never a good thing, and especially when it’s this precious (because it really is).

And have I mentioned delicious? No need to worry about those leftovers going to waste, especially with delicious combinations like this.

So without further ado, here is a wonderful way to enjoy this amazing food, packed full of energy and added super power from sweet corn, whole roasted almonds, veggies, and your unadulterated love & affection.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The Less:

Less gluten based sustenance can mean lighter fare to keep you going. Less weight in your tummy means lighter movements throughout the day. Less prepared foods and packaged salads means more hand-made love in your house, so no matter where you eat this, you’re home.

The More:

More plant-based, clean protein means more pure energy to burn through the day. More high fiber, high frequency flavors means you’ll never waste a single bite. More color, love & homemade goodness means you’ll never skip a beat, with super powered super foods to get you primed for whatever comes your way.

Super-Powered Super-Protein Quinoa Salad:

  • (1) cup dry quinoa
  • (1 – 3/4) cups cold water

Veggies & Nuts:

  • (3/4- 1) cup whole almonds
  • (3/4) cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into one inch pieces
  • (2) cobs fresh corn on the cob, peeled and broken in half
  • (1) yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, chopped
  • (2) tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, chopped (or parsley)


  • (1) tsp salt
  • (2) tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • (3) tbsp olive oil
  • (1) tbsp cumin seeds
  • (1) additional tbsp olive oil for frying cumin seeds

Start by putting up your quinoa to cook. Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low (without removing the lid) and cook, covered for 25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. After a few minutes, place it in a mixing bowl to cool. Make sure to give it a good stir with a fork – this will continue to fluff it up and will also help to release the cooking steam.

While the quinoa cooks, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the whole almonds onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven (yes, even while it is heating up!) and allow the almonds to roast until turning a deep brown and smelling fragrant (about 10 minutes). Once roasted, remove the almonds from the oven and let cool.

Next, put up a pot of water to boil and add the two peeled cobs of fresh corn.

Cook, covered on a medium boil, until the corn is tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain the corn when ready and place in a bowl of ice water to allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.

Chop the colored bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and cilantro and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, vinegar & salt and set aside.

By this time, you should have a pot of quinoa either cooked, almost cooked or cooled, corn cooling, and almonds cooling.

Now time to fry (or dry toast if desired) your delicious cumin seeds.

If you like, you can also sub in dried powdered cumin in this recipe, using a teaspoon to start and adding as you wish to taste. I’ve become so fond of whole cumin seeds of late that I simply couldn’t resist throwing them into the mix won’t regret this extra step!

To fry whole cumin seeds, heat the olive oil for frying (1 tbsp or less) in a frying pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is ready (about 1 minute), add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, on medium high for one minute or until the seeds are fragrant and darkening a little (if they start to smoke and turn black they are burning).

Remove the seeds and their cooking oil into the mixing bowl with the oil/vinegar/salt mix and allow to cool.

Next up is the corn. In this house, it is common to cook up several cobs of corn to have in the fridge cooked and ready to go. When removed from the cob, fresh local corn is simply delicious added to all manner of salads and veggie dishes.

Once you have cooked the corn halves and allowed them to cool, simply hold the half cob of corn up on the stub end with one hand and cut the kernels off with a sharp knife with your other hand.

The sweet corn that falls off the cob is nothing short of heavenly, and once you get the hang of this, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without this.

Once the quinoa is cool enough to touch, add it to the mixing bowl with the oil & vinegar & spices. Stir to combine and add the corn, vegetables, cilantro and whole roasted almonds.

Stir everything until well mixed and beautiful. Taste to correct salt and add pepper if desired.

Serve this beautiful mixture still a little warm, cool, or cold from the fridge for lunch or dinner, with or without added feta cheese  (it really doesn’t need it here).

This can also be served a top a bed of dressed greens and cold steamed vegetables like I had several times this week.

Perfection right to the last bite.

We acquire the strength we have overcome.

  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The beauty of this food is that it never feels heavy. If the goal is satisfaction, it is well within reach here.

If your goals are even higher, you can bet that when the fuel is this powerful, there’s just no limit to what you can do.

Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless.

~ Lao Tzu

Strength is not something you have, it’s something you find.

~ Emma Smith

So whatever your dragon is today, face it knowing you are already armed with all you could ever need. Personal strength really does come from so many places, and good food is a great place to start.

  • What is your favorite super food?
  • Got a super power or source of strength to share with us?

I know you gifted & passionate folk must have more than a few tricks up your sleeves!

With so much raw talent amongst you all, there really couldn’t be any other way…and I for one would love to hear all about it!

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

68 responses to “Recipe: Super Powered Super Protein Quinoa Salad

  1. Can I make a confession Shira? Not wishing to be ungrateful, but – Here I am in Paris, world center of exquisite cuisine it is said, and I’d rather have nothing more than your healthful, light and jolie salad right now! 🙂
    (you know the feeling, right?!) 🙂

    • Spree! You’ve no idea the honor to hear from you all the way from your travels in Paris – and while you flatter me (*blush*) – I have to say I do know the feeling!! I do hope you are finding some wonderful sustenance though, and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!! 🙂 Enjoy my friend! XOX 🙂

  2. Another amazing looking recipe – your photography is always so good that my mouth starts to water.

  3. Oh yum… this sounds… super, Shira :D. Still haven’t tried quinoa!

    • Wha? Frugal, get your quinoa on! It’s delightful, nutty and insanely good for you. Though, as far as grains go, it’s not the most frugal 😉

    • Thanks Nick! You are missing something having never tried it, though as Somer says, it can get pricey. Thankfully, a little does go a long way, and so cost per serving isn’t actually too too crazy, having said that, there are much cheaper alternatives 🙂

  4. mmm I bet the combination of the sweet corn and sundried tomatoes is just amazing!

    I’m really glad you called attention to the issue of our increased desire for quinoa and it’s effect in Bolivia. I always think about it when I’m eating quinoa, so like you, I am always sure to be very mindful as I eat it and grateful that I can.

    Happy Monday Shira!

    • Wonderful Gabby, yes it is very good! I am happy you approach eating quinoa with the same regard, truthfully I don’t eat it all that often, and when I do I try to have the highest regard for where it came from too – love to share that with you 🙂 Hope you are well! XOX

  5. This looks so yummy I will have to give it a try… the quotes too!

  6. I absolutely love quinoa and this recipe sounds so yummy. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks Shira 🙂

  7. I’m hearing Superman music in my head now :-)!

  8. I worship quinoa. Seriously, I have an altar and everything.
    What I love about this recipe is that it can be “dumbed down” a little for the likes of me. I won’t be roasting any cumin seeds tonight, but a quinoa salad could be exactly right. Thanks! (so pinning this, BTW).

  9. Another beautiful post and Recipe Shira, you never fail to inspire! I love quinoa, it is our go to “seed” and we enjoy at least a few times a week – I love your version of the classic quinoa veggie bowl, I absolutely love the dressing you created!

    Oh geesh you totally asked a toughie this week….my favorite super food is hands down quinoa – my source of strength: knowing each day that I did my best and was the best I could be in addition to my family who are some of the strongest and inspiratonal people I know.

    • Wonderful Heather – I always just adore all of your visits and your comments! I giggled a little as I wrote that question but you just never know what you might get, and your answer is just perfect!I love that you can rely on strong family to support you, that is such a gift! And of course, getting and giving your very best I am sure helps them give back to you 🙂 Happy to hear you love your quinoa too! XOX

  10. Oh Shira, that NYT article is breaking my heart. I have leftover quinoa in my fridge. I’m going to adapt your recipe (with what I have on hand) and have it for my lunch today and savor every last bite. Thanks for helping us all be more aware.

    • I am so happy to share that Somer – and even happier you took the time to have a read! I read that when it was first published and it changed my views on the topic forever 🙂 I hope it was delicious, and I am certain that in your kitchen, it was! XOX

      • Ha, I swear I wasn’t copying you with my post today. I photographed the tabbouleh last week ;). I looked at the back of my bag of organic quinoa today and found this info:
        I like everything that they’re saying in the link, but it would be nice to see the foundation give back to the communities that grow the quinoa and help reduce the cost of quinoa by subsidy so that the locals could afford it.

      • I swear you are THE most adorable thing! Such a thought would never have crossed my mind – and it looks to me as another clear case of great minds…. 😉
        Great link and good to see – I 100% agree with you that there could be more done too, it does look as though they are making some effort which is always great to see, but always worth investigating further, especially when they openly volunteer such info…never hurts to shoot off a curious email, right? XO

      • Oooh! Good idea, grass roots my dear! Love!

  11. I am not a quinoa fan, but I love the flavors and seasonings you have used in this, Shira: sun-dried tomatoes, fresh corn, cumin. Yum.

  12. amyhelmes

    I really want to try this. I used to not care for quinoa but found that if you rinse it before cooking, you loose a lot of what seems like a bitter taste. I haven’t bought corn on the cob since I crashed my motorcycle. I supposed I could drive my car to our local farmer’s market and try not to remember stuffing the cobs in the saddle bags.

    • Amy! I am sorry to hear about the motorcycle..I hope you will buy corn again, and thanks for sharing that as it sounds like not the best memory..*hugs*
      Great tip on the rinsing, thanks! 🙂

  13. This just looks so fantastic! Any kind of quioa salad is a winner in my book, but I adore the fresh corn and sun-dried tomatoes in this one! Yum! I hope you are well, Shira! 🙂

  14. As I read this post I am enjoying a simple bowl of quinoa and mixed greens!! I have a love affair with quinoa that I never plan to let go! This recipe sounds fantastic!! I love the flavor combination. YUM!

  15. Fantastic! I’m loving this recipe. I’ve got some catching up to do, so off to browse a few more posts. As always, yummy recipe Shira!

  16. This is incredibly inspiring in more ways than one. Thanks so much for the comment over on MCP – I’m a big fan of your blog so it’s very nice to know you visit mine too 🙂

    • Happy to have you too Sally! Yes I do love your blog very much too – I just wish I had more time to visit more often! X 🙂 happy to share with you as always!

  17. You had me sold at “super-protein”–when I first started going vegetarian, I did it not-so-brilliantly and my health ended up paying a pretty heavy price. Since then, I’ve been told to work on incorporating more proteins into my meals, and this recipe sounds like a super-smart start! As for superpowers, the closest I come is reciting the opening lines of the Canterbury Tales by rote…I know, exciting! ….

    • You amaze me with your super power – I love it wallflourgirl! 🙂 agreed, vegetarians can easily miss out on protein if not careful – this should provide more than enough – I hope you like it! X

  18. Quinoa salads are the BEST! My current fave is quinoa, avocado, green beans, and sundried tomatoes on a bed of lettuce. SO GOOD. I can’t wait to try this one and add it to my rotation. 🙂

  19. If anything is going to get me through the holidays all energetic this is it my firend, delicious job 😀


  20. Made this last night. It was amazing!! Had to modify with ground cumin, baby tomatoes, no cilantro and added a green pepper. It was so delicious! This will definitely be a recipe I keep coming back to!

  21. There are a lot of “super” in this recipe, so it must be good!! I love the ingredients! (definitely would substitute the cilantro for parsley..)

  22. Pingback: Simplest Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad | Vedged Out

  23. Yum – looks like THE most satisfying salad! Delicious 🙂

  24. Pingback: Quinoa salad… this is a good one:) | revolutionwell

  25. This sounds so good. I love quinoa and salads that can be a meal. I roasted panfulls of tomatoes this weekend–I think some may find a home in this recipe this winter!

  26. Shira – what a beautiful and easy recipe. I love quinoa but don’t think they turn out as good as they look in yours. Really loved the quote – ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’!

    How have you been? BTW, your thumbnail pic is absolutely gorgeous – so retro and so chic:)

    • Hi Ishita – so fabulous to hear from you! I am well and have thought of you often this summer – and thanks! I am happy you like the new picture 😉
      All is well in this part of the world and looking forward to a busy (and hopefully productive!) fall season! How about you? 🙂 🙂

  27. OMG!!! I made this salad for dinner this evening and I am in love! Shira, you have outdone yourself this time. 😀 BTW, my two favorite super foods are quinoa and kale. Given the ingredients in your recipes, you seem to enjoy them also.

  28. Reblogged this on Paint Your Landscape and commented:
    If you know me well, you know I love quinoa. It is such an amazing source of plant protein, chock-full of amino acids – yummy! Shira has so many fabulous recipes on her site and her story is so inspiring. Take a peek and I’m sure you will agree. 😀

  29. Thanks LuAnn…I have recently discovered quinoa and am growing to love it…happy to discover you here! xoxmeryl

  30. gillybeav

    amazing! I am going to make this right now

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