Fiesta Quinoa Salad with Lime Dressing

Makes 4 1/2 cups (1.125 L)

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is an ancient grain native to the high Andes regions of South America. It was introduced to North America in the 1980s. It is often called a supergrain because of its excellent protein content and nutritional profile. In nature, quinoa is coated with a slightly bitter resin, a natural repellent that is unpopular with birds and insects. Most commercial quinoa has been pre-rinsed; however, before cooking, it’s best to wash the grain in a fine sieve until the rinse water is no longer foamy.


1 1/2 cups (375 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa, rinsed and thoroughly drained
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
Lime Dressing

1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice
2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive or flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon (5 mL) toasted sesame oil
Pinch of black pepper

1/2 cup (125 mL) diced cucumber
1/2 cup (125 mL) corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup (60 mL) diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped green onion
4 teaspoons (20 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro
To make quinoa, bring water to a boil over high heat, stir in quinoa and salt, reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

To make dressing, combine lime juice, olive oil, sesame oil, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over cooled quinoa and toss gently with a fork. Adjust seasoning.

To assemble the salad, add the cucumber, corn, red pepper, green onion, and cilantro to the dressed quinoa. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Per cup (250 mL): calories: 249, protein: 7 g, fat: 10 g, carbohydrate: 35 g (3 g from sugar), dietary fibre: 4 g, calcium: 32 mg, iron: 4 mg, magnesium: 89 mg, phosphorus: 171 mg, potassium: 437 mg, sodium: 221 mg, zinc: 1 mg, thiamin: 0.1 mg, riboflavin: 0.2 mg, niacin: 2 mg, vitamin B 6: 0.1 mg, folate: 26 mcg, pantothenic acid: 0.5 mg, vitamin B 12: 0 mcg, vitamin A: 36 mcg, vitamin C: 23 mg, vitamin E: 1 mg, omega-6 fatty acids: 2 g, omega-3 fatty acids: 0.1 g

Percentage of calories from protein 11%, fat 35%, carbohydrate 54%