Recipe: Hearty, Bright Quinoa Salad With Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

quinoa salad6

This amazingly healthy, yummy and simple quinoa “salad” will leave your mouth, brain and tummy satisfied.

Simply cook the quinoa of your choice according to package directions, make the dressing, and then combine all the ingredients.

I used red quinoa in this recipe but you can use any kind.

What is the difference between red, white and black quinoa?

The flavor and nutritional content of all three is pretty much the same. The only differences lie in their color and slightly different texture and cooking times.

Maria Speck, a grain expert, says,

“Quinoa comes in many different colors, with white, red, and black being the most commonly cultivated. There are slight differences in cooking times and chewiness; white quinoa, which you will most often find in stores, is the mildest and least crunchy, and cooks up the fastest, in 10 to 15 minutes. Black is on the other end of the spectrum—it might need 5 minutes or so longer and is the crunchiest of the three with red somewhere in the middle.”

“But, as with all grains, there can also be variations depending on how old your quinoa is; then the white one might also take longer to cook and be more crunchy.”

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quinoa salad
Preparing the vinaigrette.

quinoa salad1

Recipe after the jump.

Hearty Quinoa Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Serves 2


1/2 cup quinoa

1 tomato, chopped

2 mandarins (clementines), peeled

1 avocado, chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

3/4 cup white beans (I used canned beans), rinsed

1/4 cup of cotija cheese (feta or pecorino romano will work too), chopped

1/3 cup sliced or chopped almonds (optional)

candied or toasted sesame seeds (optional), to sprinkle

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (coarse or smooth)

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste

fresh ground pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


Rinse the quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear and cook according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking the vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Then, slowly whisk in oil.

When the quinoa is ready, combine all the ingredients except the cheese, avocado and sesame seeds if using.

Add the dressing and combine.

Top the salad with the cheese, avocado and sesame seeds.


This salad is very versatile. The second time I made it I added thinly sliced carrots, and left off the onions and clementines, and it was still delicious.

You could also add raisins, chopped spinach and walnuts.

I bought the candied sesame seeds in Mexico City, I don’t know where to find them anywhere else but toasted sesame seeds would work totally fine too.

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The perfect brain food for hubby.
The perfect brain food for hubby.

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