Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Mint Pesto

I did a really good clean out of the fridge today — and realized I didn’t have any ready-to-go healthy food in there. So I immediately put a pot of water on the stove and cooked up some quinoa.

I’ve really been enjoying grain salads lately, and quinoa salad is one of my favourites. So I had to invent a new one! I tossed together a dressing that’s really a pesto, made out of cilantro and mint. So green and so fresh!


I’m looking forward to leftovers on this one. I had a nibble today when it was still warm, but I promise you it tastes totally different once you let it cool and the garlic flavour melds with the other flavours. Let it sit and it will be delicious.


You can use regular pumpkin seeds here, but I had some leftover from when I roasted squash for Thanksgiving.  I scattered them atop of my quinoa salad, and they were just that bit crunchy and very delicious.  Enjoy!


Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Mint Pesto

  • 2 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari
  • 1/2 tsp. aleppo chili pepper or dried red chili flakes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp. chardonnay vinegar
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 c. almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 c. goji berries
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds

In a food processor, blitz garlic, cilantro, mint, oil, tamari, chili pepper, lime juice and vinegar. Scrape down the sides and blitz until you have a green paste.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, cilantro-mint pesto, carrots, apples, almonds, goji berries, and capers. Toss to combine with a spatula. Chill and allow the flavours to mingle for at least two hours. Serve chilled, topped with pumpkin seeds.

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Categories: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian


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