California Fiesta Quinoa Salad

(Serves 6)


l     cup quinoa, uncooked

2    cups water

¼  tsp sea salt

1    cup fresh tomato, chopped

1/3 cup celery, chopped

½   cup cucumber, deseeded and chopped

1/3 cup scallions, chopped

½   cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped

½   cup fresh or frozen corn, blanched

½   cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained

¼   cup black olives, pitted and diced (Kalamata is the best!)



1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1    tsp red pepper flakes, hot (or more to taste)

2    Tbs red wine vinegar or ¼ cup lemon juice

½   tsp sea salt


  1. Boil 2 cups water and add salt. Rinse quinoa in strainer thoroughly and place in boiling water, cover, and reduce to medium low flame. Cook for 20 minutes or until grain is fluffed and water is absorbed.  Remove from pot to large bowl and cool before adding vegetables.
  2. Slice tomatoes into ½ inch slabs and remove the most of the seeds.  Then cut tomatoes into sticks and crosswise into ½ inch cubes.  This will give you evenly sized tomato pieces without them getting mushy over the next few days.
  3. Celery is cut by going down the rib in the center once or twice.  Depending on the size of the celery you might need to cut it in thirds.  Then cut crosswise into ½ inch pieces again.
  4. Slice cucumber lengthwise in 4 strips and then remove center seeds.  Chop crosswise these strips into ½ inch pieces. Remove root ends of scallions and cross chop into ¼ inch pieces.
  5. Toss cooled quinoa with all remaining vegetables, beans and olives.  Mix vinegar, oil, hot pepper flakes, and salt together.  Toss lightly with salad.  Refrigerate for an hour before serving or longer.  This will last 5 days.

Serving Suggestions:  My favorite way of having this as a leftover in scrambled eggs!  Just before the eggs set hard, I add ¼ cup or so of this salad and give it a stir.  Very yummy breakfast!

Recipe courtesy of local chef, wellness educator and Author, Suzanne Landry.