Hello! How have you all been? I took a little break from blogging to recharge and get inspired! I would like to say it was a restful break but it wasn’t. We have been so busy with birthdays, Father’s Day and general life stuff including redecorating our house. I won’t even tell you about the garden! There is still so much to do!! I get stressed just thinking about it. But most importantly I have lots of new recipes winging their way to you, starting with this quinoa lentil salad with cherry tomatoes.
We’ve been having some lovely warm weather here in the UK and it’s been salads all day every day, well almost. It’s easy to get bored of salads so I was on a mission to spice up our salad life. I don’t want to spend my time in the kitchen when the weather is this good so meals need to be ready quickly with minimum effort. And of course, salads need to taste great and be satisfying so as to keep everyone happy. This quinoa lentil salad with tomatoes is fresh and filling and is packed full of goodness, it comes with a simple lemon and oil dressing and is so easy to make.
How to make Quinoa Lentil Salad
- First of all, cook that quinoa. See below for perfectly cooked fluffy quinoa. This is the only cooking you will have to do for this dish. Yay! Once you have cooked the quinoa leave it to cool. You can fluff it up with a fork when you are ready to serve.
- Next, make the dressing, this is the easiest dressing I have ever made! You simply whisk the lemon juice into the extra virgin olive oil with the salt and pepper. Leave this in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
- Lastly, add all the ingredients to a large serving bowl and gently mix. Serve with the dressing on the side or add it in just before serving. I used Puy lentils but brown lentils will work well too. Raw courgette, cherry tomatoes and avocado have worked best in this salad but feel free to mix it up with other veggies, raw yellow pepper or cucumber would work well too.
This Quinoa Lentil Salad is :
- Gluten Free
- Low Carb
- High in Fibre
- High in Protein
- Great for taking to work
- Perfect on its own or as a side salad
- Ready in under 30 minutes
How To Cook Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa
Start by rinsing the dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer or sieve under the cold tap. Rinse until the water runs clear for at least 30 seconds then drain well. Quinoa has an outer coating called saponin when cooked this gives quinoa a bitter taste so If you skip this part you could end up with bitter quinoa, and nobody has time for bitter quinoa, trust me! Add the quinoa to a medium-sized saucepan, cover with cold water, I go by a ratio of 1 part quinoa 2 parts water.
I also add a half teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder to the water and give it a stir. This gives the quinoa a little more flavour. Now bring the water to the boil then reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the saucepan and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes. The quinoa will have soaked up all the water and you will see the germ of the seed. Leave the quinoa sit for about 5 minutes then fluff it up with a fork. Hello, fluffy quinoa!
Quinoa Lentil Salad with Tomatoes
- 150 g quinoa (dry weight)
- 1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon
- 180 ml water
- 1 x 250 g pack of cooked puy lentils
- 180 g cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 small courgette (zucchini) diced
- 1 ripe avocado cut into chunks
- 4 spring onions (scallions) white and some of the green part sliced
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
- Chive flowers (optional)
For the dressing
- 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
- The juice of half a large lemon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- Cook the quinoa according to the pack or see post for instructions on how to make perfectly fluffy quinoa. Then leave to cool. Fluff the quinoa up with a fork before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Empty the lentils into a sieve then rinse with just boiled water.
- To a large serving bowl add the quinoa, lentils and chives and stir well. Then add the rest of the vegetables and the sunflower seeds and gently toss.
- To make the lemon olive oil dressing, simply whisk the lemon juice into the oil with the salt and pepper. You can pour the dressing over the salad just before you serve or leave it on the side for people to add it themselves. This is how I serve it.
- This dish is 338 calories per serving which includes the dressing. Please note that calories are approximate.
- I used a mixed seed quinoa, plain quinoa works just as well.
- I used a gluten-free, vegan vegetable bouillon powder for cooking the quinoa. This can be found in the free-from section of your supermarket if you can't find any you can leave it out just add a good pinch of salt to the quinoa when cooking.
- This quinoa lentil salad with keep in the fridge for about two days, just keep it covered.
- To bring this to work or school, transport it in an airtight container and keep the dressing separate.
- Brown lentils will work well too if you can't find Puy lentils.
- This is a vegan salad but it works well as a side salad served with grilled chicken or salmon.
More fresh and tasty quinoa salad recipes :
- Avocado Quinoa Salad with Spiced Chickpeas
- Halloumi Salad with Butternut Squash and Quinoa
- Harissa Roasted Aubergine with Chickpeas and Quinoa
- Roast Butternut Squash with Quinoa Kale and Feta
- Harissa Prawns with Jewelled Quinoa
If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious food.