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Photo: Randy Mayor Photo by: Photo: Randy Mayor

Quinoa Salad with Vegetables and Tomatillo Vinaigrette

Quinoa, a high-protein grain, combines with crisp, colorful vegetables and tart vinaigrette for a delicious main-dish salad. Creamy queso anejo balances the tartness of the dressing. Queso blanco or ricotta salata are good substitutes.

Cooking Light JANUARY 2005

  • Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup salad, about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 teaspoon parsley)


  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped onion (about 1/2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound tomatillos (about 4 medium), husked and quartered
  • 1/2 serrano chile, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled English cucumber
  • 4 large radishes, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) queso anejo, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Place first 10 ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Set aside.

Place 3 cups water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with tomatillo mixture; stir well to combine. Cool.

Add cucumber, radish, and red bell pepper to cooled quinoa mixture; toss gently to combine. Divide salad among each of 6 plates; top evenly with cheese and parsley.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 311
  • Calories from fat: 28%
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 2.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2g
  • Protein: 10.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 46.9g
  • Fiber: 5.1g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Iron: 5.9mg
  • Sodium: 325mg
  • Calcium: 120mg