Friday, 29 March 2013

Cilantro & Lime Quinoa Salad

Happy Easter, everyone! Though I am missing out on my family's Easter celebrations, Good Friday was indeed a good day with some beautiful weather. I spent the morning volunteering at a local meals-on-wheels kitchen, where I made 50 servings of finely-chopped fruit salad and a lot of beets. I am a relatively new volunteer at this organization, but I love the sense of community and the assortment of people who come together to provide sustainable and affordable food for those who need it. And even though chopping fruit is not exactly a test of my culinary creativity, there is something nice about just being in the kitchen and knowing that you are providing people with nourishment.

The gym was closed and it was a gorgeous and sunny spring day, so I grabbed my bike and headed down to the track to get out of the spin room and breathe some fresh air during my workout. I have to admit, I felt a little silly listening to the somewhat-ominous sounds emanating from my supercycle as actual cyclists zoomed past on their fancy bikes, but it was still a really nice way to spend a couple of hours outside. I must admit though, I really really miss running and rowing and feeling strong and competent during my workouts.

To finish off my day, I had a lovely vegetarian dinner with a friend. She made some delicious tofu veggie patties, and I brought over this quinoa salad. It had been in my fridge for a couple of days, so I livened it up by mixing in the diced flesh of two small avocados and a few handfuls of chickpeas - additions which I highly recommend.

The measurements for this salad are very flexible, depending on your tastes (or the contents of your refrigerator).


  • 3-4 cups cooked red quinoa (1 cup dry)
  • 3 large carrots, grated
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 medium-large bunch of cilantro, well washed and chopped
  • two small avocados (not pictured)
  • 1.5 cups chickpeas (not pictured)
1. Cook quinoa.
2. Lightly steam broccoli. You want it bright green, but only slightly softened and not mushy. If you want to multitask, steam it in a sieve over your cooking pot of quinoa. Chop coarsely.
3. Allow quinoa and broccoli to cool. Combine quinoa, carrot, broccoli, onion and chickpeas in a bowl.
4. Roughly dice avocado flesh and add to bowl. Pour lime and orange juices over avocado.
5. Mix salad. Do not do this gently. You want the avocado to mix very well with the other ingredients, as the result will taste like a creamy avocado-lime dressing.
6. Gently mix chopped cilantro into salad.

This salad is light and oil-free, brightly coloured and brightly flavoured - perfect for such sunny spring weather. When I first made the salad (the version in the photographs) I did not include the avocado or chickpeas. I really enjoyed these additions and felt that they added depth to the salad, but omitting them will just result in a lighter and slightly more tangy salad.

I have linked this up to Gluten-Free Fridays at Vegetarian Mamma; check out some of the other recipes on her site!


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