Friday, June 15, 2012


Quinoa is a tricky word to pronounce the first time you see it.  I had to be corrected by a bookstore clerk where I was looking for a wholegrain cookbook.  I was a little apprehensive about trying quinoa for the first time - I bought a box of it and put it in my cupboard but by the time I was ready to experiment with it, it had expired.  Needless to say, I went out and bought some new from the Bulk Barn.  The recipe I wanted to try used the traditional variety but the BB had only the red in organic so I got that instead.  I must say the salad I made with it was delicious and I will make it again and again.

I am crazy for wholegrain salads so I will feature them frequently.  They make the perfect work lunch for me because I don't like to microwave my food.  This salad features green lentils, sweet red pepper, feta, red quinoa  and fresh mint with a lemony dijon dressing.  Add some crisp baby arugula and enjoy!

*Quinoa and Lentil Salad*

2/3 cup  dried green lentils
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 sweet red pepper, chopped finely
2-3 green onions chopped
1/2 cup feta, crumbled or shredded
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste - I found the feta alone added enough saltiness and did not add salt

baby arugula

Rinse lentils and gently boil in salted water for 30 minutes or until tender but still firm.  Drain and set aside to cool.  Rinse quinoa thoroughly with warm water ( about 3 minutes) to remove the bitter coating.  Drain well and cook in the 2 cups of water for 15 minutes (or as per package instructions).  Let sit 10 minutes.  If there is still water in the quinoa you may drain it.  Add the cooled lentils and quinoa to the red pepper, mint, green onions and feta in a large bowl.  Make a dressing by whisking the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon, salt and pepper and mix well with the salad ingredients.  Add as much arugula as you like.  Yummy!


  1. Now, Quinoa is something I just can't stomach, although the salad does sound good. I would probably substitue bulgar for it, or barley. Cooked quinoa looks like pin worms to me and the sight of it makes me want to gag . . . I just can't get that thought out of my head!! I know . . . crazy, but then, that's me! Keep up the informative and deliciously healthy posts! Well done! xxoo

  2. Lol, Marie's comment made me chuckle. I admit, it does look a little odd, but it is delicious. I know what I am having for lunch today!

  3. PPS we call arugula, Rocket and I love the stuff!! It has such a nice peppery meaty flavour!

  4. I love that you use lentils and quinoa - great recipe!
    mary x

  5. I love quinoa, especially with that nutty flavor. We use it in so many ways, but my daughter's favorite way of eating it is, as a hot breakfast cereal, half oatmeal, half red quinoa, adding a chopped banana in the last 4 or so minutes so it breaks down, cinnamon, raisins, a sweetener like brown sugar, maple syrup or honey, and some nuts.

    1. That is a great idea Mary! I will def be trying it that way...I think it would go well with the steel-cut oats.

    2. I made quinoa before and didn't like it one bit. Wish I would have known to rinse it for a few mins before using. Decided to give it another try; with your recipe! MMMmmmmmm. I love it. Had a couple others try it out and they also thought it was quite delicious. Think this will be a favorite on mine! As always, your recipes rock! :)