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Herbed Spring Quinoa Salad

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

Herbed Quinoa Salad for Spring

Now that the weather is getting warmer and the air is starting to thicken with humidity, all my body has been craving is a light, healthy meal. Something that bursts with flavor. Something that tastes like sunshine with every bite.

This is the time of year to celebrate. We need to relish in the months ahead. Spring is a time of rebirth, of life. Our days are going to be filled with lush green grass, flowering trees and early spring fruits and vegetables.

Do you have a smile on your face yet? I hope so, because writing this is making my heart skip a beat. Summer is almost here!

And to me, summer means only one thing: Kennebunkport. A gorgeous little town on the rocky Maine coast where my family has summered for generations.

Herbed Quinoa Salad for Spring {gluten-free & vegan}

We have a house right on the water, with a huge wrap around porch that's scattered with Adirondack chairs. It's light gray with green shutters, nestled into the landscape, just like it has been for the past 100 years.

It's my home away from home.

My favorite place on earth.

Every time we pull into town, we roll the windows all the way down, letting the salty sea air fill our lungs. It's intoxicating. With each breath, I feel my body relax. Settling into the comfort and peace this place brings me.

Of course, since we're on the ocean, many of our days consist of lounging in beach chairs with our toes deep in the sand. Surrounded by family, little kids running around building sand castles and splashing in the water.

Summer at its finest.

And that's where this salad comes in. Whenever we go to the beach, we first have to make lunch. It's like an assembly line of sandwich makers in the kitchen. We crank out 15 – 20 sandwiches, making sure to pack chips, cookies, fruit and iced tea, and throwing everything into coolers before we head off.

Now that I'm living gluten-free, beach lunches have become more difficult for me. It's usually more of a snack for me than an actual lunch. But this year, I'm determined to come up with a recipe that is not only perfect for lunch, but also perfect for munching on as I'm soaking up the sun. A cooling salad, that is bright and colorful. And yes, you guessed it, quinoa as the superstar.

Herbed Spring Quinoa Salad {gluten-free & vegan}

The verdict? I nailed it with this one (even though I haven't been to the beach yet, I know this will be a go-to). I even packed it in little jars to its easy to transport. This is simply summer in a jar.

Herbed Spring Quinoa Salad {in a jar}

serves 4 – 6

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 organic tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon spearmint extract (or 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Place the quinoa with 1 cup water in a small pot on the stove to boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover and let the quinoa simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. When all the water has been absorbed, turn the heat off and keep covered for another 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool for another 15 minutes.

Add the cooled quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat.

Enjoy as a cold salad and soak in the warm summer days ahead.

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  1. I made this with dinner last night and it was excellent! I ate the leftovers for lunch today and it tasted just as good as last night. This is the perfect dish to pack for boating, the beach, or the pool. I’m not sure I will make any other quinoa recipes now since I loved this one so much! 🙂

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