A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life

Quinoa Lemon Tomato Cilantro salad

Meghan found a photo on Pinterest for a quinoa salad.  Unfortunately, the avocados that I found at the store were not ripe enough to use, but I was able to create  a delicious dinner using an ingredient that many people do not find in their pantry.

Quinoa is a gluten-free grain-like crop grown in the Andean regions of South America.  Tonight I decided to compare quinoa to the brown rice that was also in my pantry.  Quinoa contains about twice as much fat (2.5g to 1g per 1/4 cup serving) , it still contains no trans fats.  It contains 2x as much fiber, 3x the protein and 20% your daily suggested intake of iron.  And Meghan says it even tastes better than brown rice.

Of course, everything must come at a cost.  The increased popularity of quinoa has caused an increase in price (check out this article, I was blown away that quinoa costs more than chicken in Lima, Peru:  This increase has forced local populations, the people who grow the quinoa, to search for cheaper, and less healthier, alternatives such as imported junk food.  If you are going to add quinoa to your diet, or you are already a fan, make sure you make the effort to include additional Andean crops into your diet, such as Peruvian beans, Lima beans, oregano, paprika and purple potatoes.

Here is tonight’s dinner, I think it must have been a success.

Empty bowl = Successful dinner

Empty bowl = Successful dinner


  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • zest of half a lemon

In a pot, combine the stock and quinoa, season with salt and add zest of 1/2 a lemon.  Bring to a rapid boil, turn down to a simmer and cover.  Allow quinoa to cook for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa has become slightly sprouted.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Stir in the cooked quinoa.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.


We served the salad over a portobello mushroom seasoned with Herbs de Provence.



4 comments on “Quinoa Lemon Tomato Cilantro salad

  1. JG
    February 2, 2013

    This looks awesome. Extra kudos for mentioning the quinoa-related plight of Peru 🙂

    • peteandmeg
      February 11, 2013

      Thank you JG. One of my big food rules is knowing something about the food you are eating. I find learning about new foods to be almost as much as creating with them, or eating them.

  2. homecreationseveryday
    February 3, 2013

    Looks delicious!

  3. peteandmeg
    February 11, 2013

    Thank you, and super easy to make (and eat).

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This entry was posted on February 2, 2013 by in Peter Waterman's posts, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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