Quinoa and Avocado Salad

   I love the nutty texture and wonderful earthy flavor of this grain-like seeds. Tossed with fresh lemon juice and creamy ripe avocado chunks, it makes the most perfect summer side dish. 

  Click here and read about how Miss Sophie prepared this wonderful quinoa salad for the President of General Dynamics; yeah, he is pretty big guy around here in Savannah.   Read more about the history of quinoa here, too.  

Fresh lemon and zest is the key to brightening up this dish.  

Keeping it real; my kitchen is in complete disarray whenever I take food photos.   Prep person, the cook, dishwasher, and photographer, all in one!

Halved grilled tri-color peppers make fabulous presentation.  

Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Pecans with Grilled Peppers
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking 
Serves 6

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (I used try-colored quinoa here)
1 teaspoon salt; divided
1 large lemon, zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced in chunks
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: 6 halves of multi-colored peppers, grilled to fill the quinoa salad (lightly coat peppers with olive oil, salt & pepper, then grill)

Put quinoa in a small meshed colander or sieve and run cold water through to rinse well. Let drain. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, fresh ground pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork.

In a large bowl while quinoa is still warm, toss with vinaigrette and let flavor absorb. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Then gently fold in toasted nuts, diced avocado, green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

 Optional: serve this in beautifully grilled pepper halves to make an excellent vegetarian meal


  1. This looks amazing. And....you taught me something today. I had never heard of quinoa before reading your post.
    You are always beingus delicious new ways to cook.

    Thanks for sharing,

    In Him,

  2. The presentation is awesome. Adds heaps of charm to the already delightful dish. WIll try soonest =)

  3. How beautiful! I love all of the healthy, tasty ingredients and the presentation is very special.

  4. What a perfect summer salad. This is a great way to use quinoa and I'll have to give this a try. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  5. This looks delicious and your presentation stunning and your photos are....wow! What an amazing talent you have! Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a GREAT week!

  6. Turned out AMAZING!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!

    I used Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough to make tortilla substitutes and put the quinoa/avocado salad in that and it was great!

  7. wish i could send you an avocado from the Philippines...they grow to the size of a football (ok,not quite, but they are enormous!) and a delicious ripe one costs about 30 cents...