Quinoa is not a member of the grass family so it is not a true grain or cereal. Rather it is a pseudocereal, more related to beets and spinach. Once considered the gold of the Incas, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. 


  • ½ to ¾ cup of raw quinoa (depending on how much of the salad you want it to comprise). Rinse well under cold running water. Bring 1½ cups water to a boil, add quinoa, reduce heat, cover, and simmer. When quinoa is transparent and water is absorbed, drain and set aside to cool.
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (washed but unpeeled) – I like long, thin cucumbers
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced green onions (or more to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped very fine
  • ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • ¼ of other types of seeds or munchies if desired
  • ¼ cup dried figs, dates, or apricots – finely diced


When quinoa is cool, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Use your own favorite salad dressing, such as a raspberry vinaigrette; or prepare the following dressing:


  • 1 tsp grated lime or lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sweetener, if desired (honey, real maple syrup)
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste, if desired

Pour dressing over the salad ingredients in the large bowl and mix well.


Place bowl on the table and serve with a large spoon.  May refrigerate up to three days.