might have bragged on Facebook recently about how awesome my salads were and some of you asked me why I have not posted any salad recipes for quite a while. Oops 🙂

So to remedy the situation, I am over the moon to share with you my absolute favorite quinoa salad recipe that my kids also enjoy. In fact, I have not met a person over 18 who did not like it. When I hear that one of our dinner guests is not a fan of quinoa, I make this salad and – BOOM – a quinoa lover is born.

In fact, one of my friends, who is a chief and a cookbook author, told me after she tasted it: “You know, you should write a cookbook. Many people who write cookbooks just don’t even cook every day and your family recipes are just amazing”. And I thought to myself: “Well, maybe I do NOT write cookbooks because I DO cook every day, ha-ha”. But who knows, maybe one day….

If your kids are not fans of mixed dishes, the best strategy would be to deconstruct the salad and allow everyone assemble the ingredients on their plate. And if quinoa is a new grain for your kids, you may consider making another grain option, just in case, like pasta or rice.

Many kids will choose to eat just grain+cheese or sprinkle some veggies on top. It’s ok because,  as always, our job is to let them choose what and how much they want from what we serve.

More deconstructed family meal ideas 

It’s hard to believe but this salad has been in our family’s dinner rotation for more than 10 years! And the first time I prepared it was in the cooking lab of a Food Science class I took at New York University ( I miss this city so badly sometimes).

The recipe our instructor shared with us has been carefully measured and balanced. Since then, I have simplified it to adapt to our busy lives. I also substituted pine nuts with sunflower seeds because of my daughter’s allergy. I still think that pine nuts taste much better in it than sunflower seeds, so I would encourage you to try both variations and see which one you prefer.

Kid friendly quinoa salad you will love. Healthy, nutritious salad dish for the whole family. This is a good idea to include vegetables in your kids' meals.

So, without further ado, I am beyond excited to present to you…

Kid friendly quinoa salad you will love

4-6 servings, depending on the appetite

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 roasted or chargrilled red peppers from a jar (you can also roast or chargrill fresh peppers like in this recipe)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup of ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters ( you can use any sweet ripe tomatoes you have)
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds or pine nuts, toasted on a dry frying pan until lightly colored and aromatic
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste

Preparation: 

  1. Combine water, quinoa, and salt in a small saucepan over high heat, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking until all water gets absorbed, for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for another 10 minutes.
  2. Spread the quinoa on a plate or chopping board to let it cool. You can prepare quinoa in advance, store it in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.
  3. Combine the cooled quinoa, roasted peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl.
  4. Stir in feta cheese and pine nuts or sunflower seeds.
  5. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl, pour over salad and toss to combine.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTE: Serve the quinoa, the veggies, cheese and the dressing separately to allow kids to assemble their own salad creations on their plates.

NOTE: For a more filling version of the salad, add a peeled and chopped avocado. Yum!

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Kid friendly quinoa salad you will love
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 roasted or chargrilled red peppers from a jar (you can also roast or chargrill fresh peppers like in this recipe)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup of ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters ( you can use any sweet ripe tomatoes you have)
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seeds or pine nuts, toasted on a dry frying pan until lightly colored and aromatic
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine water, quinoa, and salt in a small saucepan over high heat, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking until all water gets absorbed, for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for another 10 minutes.
  2. Spread the quinoa on a plate or chopping board to let it cool. You can prepare quinoa in advance, store it in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.
  3. Combine the cooled quinoa, roasted peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl.
  4. Stir in feta cheese and pine nuts or sunflower seeds.
  5. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl, pour over salad and toss to combine.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
Notes
NOTE: Serve the quinoa, the veggies, cheese and the dressing separately to allow kids to assemble their own salad creations on their plates.

NOTE: For a more filling version of the salad, add a peeled and chopped avocado. Yum!

 

Tell me, what’s your favorite family salad?

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