Super easy healthy quinoa salad with roast carrots, feta cheese and fresh herbs. A delicious healthy side dish that goes well with any summer dinner.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is actually a seed! A protein packed little seed that’s super easy to cook and makes a great healthy alternative to pasta or rice. Quinoa has a slight nutty taste and it’s easy to flavour up and use in recipes.
How do you cook quinoa?
Well it’s actually really simple!
- First rinse it well under cold running water.
- Add it to a pan with double the quantity of water – I add a pinch of sea salt flakes too
- Bring to the boil then simmer with the lid on for around 15-20 minutes (check the packet as some types do take longer)
- The quinoa is done once the liquid is absorbed and the little seeds tender.
- Drain using a sieve – it’s too fine for a colander.
How to make quinoa taste good
Okay I won’t lie – plain boiled quinoa is bland and pretty tasteless – you really need to flavour it up to make it good to eat.
So add lots of fresh herbs, maybe spices, mix in a good dressing and stir through tasty salad extras.
Of course… you could always cheat and cut out the faff of cooking it – just pick up a couple of sachets of the microwave quinoa – it cooks in minutes and they’re all pre-flavoured.
How to make quinoa salad
Cook the quinoa – let it cool then toss through your salad ingredients and tasty bits – so easy!
Healthy, tasty quinoa salad
- 1 cup of dried quinoa
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 large carrots - scrubbed and sliced
- 1 tbs olive oil
- drizzle of honey
- 200g feta cheese - cut into cubes
- 2 handfuls of fresh herbs - I used flat leaf parsley, coriander and basil
- Salad dressing of your choice - I used simple Italian style
- lemon wedges to serve
- Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions - place on one side to cool once cooked
- Heat the oven to 200C
- Toss the carrot slices in the olive oil and honey - season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Roast on a baking tray in the oven for around 20 minutes or until cooked
- Once cooked - assemble the salad - gently stir together the quinoa, carrots, feta and herbs pour over the quantity of dressing you like and fluff up the quinoa salad just using a fork.
- Serve with lemon wedges
Flavour up your quinoa salad your way
- Try adding roast peppers, courgettes or aubergines.
- Switch the feta cheese for grilled halloumi
- Add some spice with pinch of red chilli flakes or freshly chopped chillies
- Add some chorizo, bacon or prawns
- Skip the Italian dressing and pick a different one to suit