Quinoa Summer Salad

Hey guys, Happy Tuesday!  This week has been a little rough trying to get back into the normal work week.  Does that happen to anyone else after time off?

I thought I would share a few last pictures that I took in Harbor Springs after my last post:

Mostly because I wish I was still laying by the above pool.

My mom and I tried this Cucumber soda that we bought at Symon’s General Store in Petoskey and it was SO good.  Only 45 calories for the bottle, although the sugar was pretty high.  We are going to try and recreate it since I don’t think it needed the sugar.  I’m not even sure what brand this was, has anyone heard of it or tried it before?

Horrible pic, but my dinner at Chandler’s was really good (we went to last time I was in Harbor as well).  My salmon came with cheesy grits which stole the show…although neither of my parents thought so because I gave them both some to try and noticed all of them left on their plates.  I’m going to try and recreate these I think.

Today I actually have a recipe for a new dish that was inspired by my mom’s dinner at Chandler’s.  She ordered the lamb which came with a quinoa salad.  We both thought the additions to the quinoa salad were really unique and I decided to try and recreate right away.  Especially since I was too busy eating grits to really give the salad much thought at the time.

Chandler’s  used fresh cherries in the salad, but I ate all of the cherries my mom gave me on Monday at work.  Yep, a full bag of cherries over the course of the day.  Woopsy!  So instead, I added strawberries.  I wasn’t sure how that was going to go at first because I’m normally not a huge fan of fresh fruit in salads, but I ended up loving them.

Quinoa Summer Salad

3/4 cup (dry) quinoa

6-8 strawberries, sliced thinly

Approx 1 1/2 cups green beans

1/2 cup cashews

1 T olive oil

1 t white wine vinegar

2 t lemon juice

Salt/pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

Feta-however much you want, I love feta so I added a lot

Directions:  First step is to cook the quinoa.  You want to rinse the quinoa before you cook it.  I used to skip this step which is a big no-no.  Quinoa is very bitter if you don’t rinse it first–so measure out 3/4 cup, throw it in a strainer (make sure you have one with small enough holes) and rinse rinse rinse.  Once the quinoa is un-bitterized, pour it into a pan with 1 1/2 cups water (or cook however you normally do, I do 2 to 1 water to quinoa).   You could also use broth instead of quinoa to make it extra flavorful, but I didn’t have any.  I added a little bit of salt too.  Cook on medium until the mixture comes to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover.  Once all the water is gone, you will know the quinoa is done!  If it still tastes too chewy or hard, cook for a little longer.

In the meantime, I blanched the green beans quickly so they weren’t quite so crispy.  You could always use fully cooked or raw.  To blanch, you just put the beans in boiling water for a second until the color is bright green, then rinse in cold water to stop them from cooking any further.  They are still crunchy when blanched, but not quite as ‘raw’ tasting.

I added a tiny bit of coconut oil and salt to the green beans.  I added the cashews and strawberries to the (cooled) green beans and feta on top.

Once the quinoa was done, I mixed it in.  It was still a little warm which melted the feta just a little bit.   This really only needs a little bit of dressing.  I mixed the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and a tiny bit of sugar and mixed it in.  If you aren’t planning on serving this right away or using it all at once, you might want to leave the dressing on the side.  Although, I mixed the dressing right in and it still is fine two days later.


This is such a great summer dish.  I think the ingredients are a great combo of flavors, and this salad is really filling without being too heavy.  I hope you like it, I think you will.

See you Thursday!


1 Comment

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One Response to Quinoa Summer Salad

  1. Jillian Mckee


    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?


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