Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Many people think of quinoa as a grain, but it’s actually a seed. This detox-friendly salad is bursting with fresh herbs and crunchy veggies.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Made with an assortment of fresh herbs, olive oil, and crunchy chopped vegetables, this easy, detox-friendly salad is bursting with flavor. Although quinoa is technically a seed, its grain-like quality places it in the starch category for food-combining purposes; the same goes for other grain-like seeds, such as amaranth, millet, and buckwheat.

Makes six servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour


  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup minced green onions, white and green parts
  • 1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, julienned
  • 10 to 15 olives (such as Castelvetrano), pitted and chopped


  • In a saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat, cooking until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the cooked quinoa and toss it in the dressing to coat well. Add the green and red onions, dill, parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, and olives, and toss well to combine. Allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Tip: Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. Itís also a great source of iron, magnesium, vitamin B2, and manganese ó all of which support healthy brain function.

Reprinted with permission from No Excuses Detox, copyright © 2017 by Megan Gilmore, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright © 2017 by Erin Scott.

Why No Numbers?: Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

Food photography by Erin Scott

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