Cuckoo for Quinoa

Sometime over the weekend, I put together a quinoa salad for my lunches this week. And it seems like I’m not the only one reaching for quinoa this week – I saw two other great recipes from Brittany and Lindsey in the past day!

In all the craziness from getting back from our trip, I forgot to post about it! It’s been filling me up all week and gave me an excuse to use some leftover veggies, local tomatoes and zucchini, and a bunch of parsley and mint from our plants out on the deck (which are finally doing good, thanks to all the rain we’ve had lately).


Today’s lunch was the last of my quinoa salad with some broccoli I steamed last night and half an avocado.


Quinoa cooks so fast. I love any kind of whole grain, but wheatberries sometimes aren’t an option if I don’t have 40 minutes to wait.

I actually cooked this quinoa in the microwave! 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water in a large bowl for 6 minutes, let it sit for a few minutes, and cook again for 2 minutes. If all the water is absorbed, it’s done! If not, you can let it go another minute or  two.

This quinoa salad had the flavors of tabbouleh, but with quinoa instead of bulgur and no cucumber. But the zucchini was a fantastic addition.

Quick Quinoa Summer Salad

  • 2-3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Cook the quinoa (in the microwave or on the stovetop), mix together and let it chill overnight.


My favorite thing about grain salads like this is that they’re so versatile and can be served hot, cold, or room temperature.

On Monday, I ate it cold, right out of the fridge, with avocado on top.

Yesterday, I left the container on my desk at work until lunchtime so it would be room temperature.

Today, I heated it up, along with the broccoli (because cold steamed broccoli is nasty).

It’s delicious, no matter the temperature. And since there’s no meat or eggs in it, it can sit at room temperature for a few hours, making it a great picnic or potluck dish.


Do you cook with quinoa? What’s your favorite way to use it?


I haven’t tried making breakfast with it, but I think that might be next. I’ve seen some fabulous looking recipes!



  1. I haven’t cooked with quinoa in a hot minute! I love simple salads like this and I HAVE quinoa in my pantry…I have no excuses.

    This looks delicious! I want some avocado now!

  2. i didnt realize you can cook quinoa in the microwave! i will have to give it a shot.. thanks for the idea.

  3. I have JUST gotten on the quinoa train, but boy am I on it. 3 times in 3 days and going strong.

  4. I have yet to try Quinoa. I have a grain mix in my cupboard right now that has quino in it though, does that count? ;)

  5. Quinoa = LOVE. I have yet to try a cold version, but yours looks like a winner! I love getting some extra protein in a grain salad, so how could I not love this?

  6. I think I am going to duplicate your lunch recipe for my lunch as well. It looks so good and I have some items in the fridge that need to be finished up. Thanks for sharing this!

    I am just starting to experiment with quinoa as a breakfast base and so far I really like it!

    • You’ll love it!

      The best thing about salads like this is you can really add whatever you have on hand – it works great with Italian seasonings and Mexican, too!

      I’ve got to get on the quinoa breakfast train. and fast!

  7. ooh, quinoa is awesome :) i finally made some again the other night and mixed with with some lightly sauteed kale/onions/zucchini/summer squash, raisins and chopped walnuts. a little unique, but very yummy :)

  8. Love quinoa! I actually really like to add it to my oats in the mornings. Mmmm!

  9. That looks delicious! I’ve been looking for a way to use up this quinoa too :)

  10. Andrew and I LOVE quinoa!! This looks kind of similar to a recipe I’ve made before… omg, it is SO good!! :) I bet the mint is awesome in there!!

  11. My favorite way to eat quinoa is sweet during breakfast- cooked in milk with berries and what oatmeal. It’s a strange taste but really good. :)

  12. I disagree: cold steamed broccoli is DELICIOUS! :)

  13. Everyone is making Quinoa and you know what, I have been searching for Quinoa recipes all week! Weird how we all think a like. Great recipe!!

  14. I LOVE quinoa. It’s so versatile. And, your recipe with the fresh herbs sounds delicious. :)

    Thanks for the shout out lady!

  15. i have been wondering if it’s possible to microwave quinoa! now i know ;) this looks great…i love the idea of a quinoa tabouleh.

  16. I ran across this recipe and it looks really fantastic! I l’m not crazy about cucumber and I love the idea of using zucchini instead.

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