cucumber & tomato quinoa salad




cucumber tomato quinoa salad

Totally didn’t pronounce it right the first time I saw this. I thought it was KIN-NO-AH. I’m special :)

Remember about a month ago (if you follow me on Twitter) I frantically tweeted the following: “For the life of me, I can not find quinoa.” and then “asked 3 store managers and they all looked at me and said, what? Can you repeat that?”

And this is why I love all you food bloggers out there. A ton of you tweeted me back and told me to go to TJ or Whole Foods. Now why didn’t I think of that before? Probably since I pushed my shopping cart around in circles for 40 minutes around the store that I was too dizzy and dazed to even think to go to TJ/Whole Foods/World Market.

Well, alas, I found a bag of quinoa and my search for the maggot looking grains ended. Yes, I said maggot looking grains. Here’s a fun story: when quinoa first burst onto the foodie scene, I was so grossed out by it. I wondered why every freaking person wanted to cook with it. I thought it looked DISGUSTING. I mean, the grains spiraling out of their “casing” or whatever. It looked like a bunch of maggots to me. I refused to try it even though I knew it was a super food and it was super healthy for you.

Fast forward a few months and I gave in. I figured I can’t be a food blogger/foodie if I don’t at least try something once. And so I proved myself wrong. As gross as it looks, it’s so yummy. I love the barley scent it has and how super easy it is to whip up and how VERSATILE this grain is. You literally can put it into anything and you have a healthy meal — well, unless you decide to deep fry it. Since it’s so versatile, and because I was craving a tomato & cucumber salad, I thought to make it more into a meal, I’d add quinoa to it. What a great decision :) It’s both healthy and filling & won’t kill your waist line!

cucumber tomato quinoa salad
cucumber & tomato quinoa salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Cucumber & Tomato Quinoa Salad is a healthy and filling dish that is so simple to make!

Servings: 4
  • 2 cups dry quinoa
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large tomato, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  1. In a medium stockpot, cook the quinoa following the instructions on the bag.
  2. In the meantime, while quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, red onion, and red wine vinegar. Gently toss them around to coat in the vinegar. It'll look like too much vinegar but don't forget that you have the quinoa to add in :) season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. When quinoa is ready, add to the bowl and gently mix around until everything is well combined. If you like your salad more vinegary add more to taste.
  4. Pop quinoa salad in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.
  5. When ready, serve with crumbled feta on top.


Posted on February 10, 2012

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  1. 02/10/2012 at 9:35 am

    haha Maggots! I’m not a huge fan of the stuff, too chewy for my liking. I still make and eat it, just like I occasionally force myself to eat oatmeal, drink milk, and eat a salad, haha! Girl can’t live on sweets alone!

  2. 02/10/2012 at 9:42 am

    I’ve got a pack of quinoa in my kitchen cupboard but have been so intimidated to make it! I don’t know why, it shouldn’t scare me that much. Just the unknown I guess. This looks fabulous hun – I think you’ve encouraged me to adventure into the unknown!! ~Megan

    • 02/10/2012 at 9:57 am

      Oh girl, they’re the easiest things. Seriously, boil a pot of water and put the quinoa babies in there. I left them on the stove while I did some photo editing and the next thing I knew, I turned around and they had literally eaten all the water. It was just a pot of fully cooked, puffed up quinoa. It was kinda cool! :)

  3. 02/10/2012 at 10:10 am

    Haha! I love quinoa, probably even more than rice. I use it in place of rice a lot. This looks amazing!

  4. 02/10/2012 at 10:18 am

    i’m with cassie: i like quinoa even better than rice. cold, hot, room temperature, with veggies, meat or just sauce – if it’s got quinoa in there, i’ll eat it! =)

  5. 02/10/2012 at 10:53 am

    I had never heard of quinoa before I saw your recipe, but have been looking for a rice substitute because I can’t eat it. I think I found it. This recipe sounds delicious! And VERY healthy! Now to run out to Whole Foods to get it. You can’t know how much I thank you!

    • 02/10/2012 at 10:57 am

      Quinoa is gluten free too! :)

  6. 02/10/2012 at 11:31 am

    looove how versatile quinoa is! this looks so yummy and refreshing!

  7. 02/10/2012 at 12:13 pm

    This looks so healthy and fresh, just want I fancy right now!

  8. 02/10/2012 at 12:48 pm

    Yum. I love love love quinoa.

  9. This look so healthy and summery :) I need to use quinoa more.

  10. 02/10/2012 at 1:36 pm

    I was guilty of the same mispronunciation too for about 6 months. This is what happens when you live your life on the internet and not actually SPEAKING to people. (half kidding ;))
    Also, the “coming out of their casing” thing totally grosses me out still to this day. I try to ignore it when eating :)

  11. 02/10/2012 at 1:44 pm

    Quinoa is seriously one of my favorite things ever! GREAT recipe!

  12. 02/10/2012 at 1:55 pm

    This salad looks so refreshing and delicious – awesome recipe :)
    Glad to have found your blog!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Three Layer Brownie Cheesecake

  13. Colleen
    02/11/2012 at 10:03 am

    I asked for “kin-no-ah” at our local food co-op and was taken to the granola aisle.

  14. 02/11/2012 at 5:11 pm

    I mispronounced this for so long that now that I’m saying it correctly, my husband doesn’t know what I’m talking about :) Oops! Your salad looks fantastic!

  15. 02/12/2012 at 4:12 pm

    Well I know we already talked about this, but seriously, maggots – yes! That’s one of the first things I thought upon seeing quinoa for the first time. I’m still determined to find a way to like it, who knows, maybe your salad is just the thing. It looks great!!

  16. 02/16/2012 at 7:52 am

    This looks delicious! I actually had the exact same problem with quinoa. When I was talking to one of the Board Members of a non-profit I used to work at, I pronounced quinoa incorrectly. It was really embarrassing, and needless to say, I’ll never mispronounce keen-wa again.

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