Packed with Veggies Quinoa Salad

I am a reluctant (now passionate) convert to quinoa.


Honestly, I thought quinoa was one of those passing health trends and I mostly ignored it. Also I have not been eating much grain (wheat or otherwise). So I was not looking for a wheat-free/organic/gluten-free/non-GMO ancient grain like quinoa (even though it did sound like quite a magical nutrition powerhouse).

Then one day K made paella with quinoa, instead of rice. It was so good!

After that, we started experimenting with quinoa in all kinds of recipes that normally use rice. We made quinoa inarizushi (pouch of fried tofu stuffed with seasoned rice) and quinoa temakizushi (hand rolled sushi). Totally unconventional, I know. But the flavor of the quinoa was wonderful – slightly nutty – and with a pleasant chewiness.

Inarizushi are hiding at the top middle of this photo… Those little brown pillows!


Now I keep a bag of quinoa in the cupboard and I am always looking for chances to use quinoa. I was excited to make this salad, which originally called for couscous, because I thought quinoa would substitute well. And indeed, quinoa works beautifully here!


This salad is mostly uncooked vegetables, so you can enjoy the crunch of fresh veggies! It tastes marvelous at room temperature (actually I prefer this way, rather than chilled or hot). The tomato paste dressing with fresh squeezed lemon provides a nicely balanced umami punch. This recipe makes enough for medium servings for 1 person for 1 week (about 10 medium servings).


Quinoa, ½ cup

Green pepper, 1

Cherry tomatoes, about 20

Endive, 1-2 heads

Tomato paste, 3 T

Juice, from 1 fresh lemon

Garlic, 1 teaspoon chopped

Salt, a dash

Pepper, to taste

Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons

  1. Prepare the quinoa according to the package.
  1. Remove the seeds and chop the green pepper into bite-sized pieces. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Tear the endive into bite-sized pieces.


  1. Mix the tomato paste, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Combine the dressing with the quinoa and veggies. Cover and store.


Adapted from “クスクスサラダ” from “作り置きサラダ”.

Want to learn more about simple, Japanese-inspired weekly meal prep? Read “What is Make Now & Eat Later”


Come back on Monday! New recipes posted here every week.



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