Herb Packed Quinoa Salad

Herb Packed Quinoa SaladFall is no longer coming slowly. He’s arrived. 

The fitful bursts of summer’s heat have all but faded, along with any color my very pale skin may have gathered. Though I’m rather sad that one of my sundresses still hangs unworn, there’s nothing quite so pleasant as standing in your doorway, wearing slippers and holding warm coffee as the rain smacks the deck in front of you.

Nothing perhaps, except being healthy enough to take off said slippers for a good dance among the drops. Unfortunately, I caught a nasty cold. I’ve been told it’s going around.

Quinoa Salad on Baguette Taste Wonder Bread Budget

It always seems funny to think something “going around” found its way to me. I work from home! I’m supposed to avoid these things. However, the large waste bin of used Kleenex would argue against invincibility.

An interesting thing – a cold that is. It has a funny way of making you appreciate the things you normally take for granted – like breathing. When you’re healthy, breaths just happen. But when you’re sick, they become considerably more difficult and seem to consume a shockingly large amount of energy. 

Healthy Quinoa Salad

I remember when I was little and getting sick seemed like a vacation. Slightly tedious on the front and back end perhaps, but overall pleasurable none the less. There was time then to wallow in sickness and to lie on the couch and watch endless reruns of Saved by the Bell while sipping chicken noodle soup. 

But life doesn’t stop in the same way anymore. Work continues to arrive. Which, I should point out, is a good thing in many ways. But it’s singularly difficult in the case of sleeping and watching Saved by the Bell.

Quinoa Salad by Mikaela Cowles

However, that first moment of being healthy, that moment when you realize you no longer are thinking about breathing, you’re just doing it. That moment is a sweet one indeed. It’s the moment you throw open the doors and run barefoot on the deck. You smile, just because it’s Tuesday. You laugh and take extra joy in it not hurting your throat to do so.

It really is an incredible moment. You also, if you’re like me, might think about all the workout days you missed and the pieces of buttered toast you’ve consumed. And then, you might be inclined to make a salad.

Herb Packed Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger’s Quinoa Salad

1½ cups quinoa, cooked as directed
2 cucumbers, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 small red onion, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
½ bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped
(about 1 cup chopped)
½ bunch mint leaves, chopped
(about ¼ cup chopped)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lemon, juiced
1½ tsp salt
¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper 

Strain cooked quinoa through a fine mesh strainer, shaking well to remove all the moisture.

When quinoa is dry, transfer to a large bowl. Add cucumbers, onion, tomato, parsley and mint. Fold to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Gradually add whisked ingredients to the quinoa mixture, folding mixture to incorporate fully.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.



About Mikaela Cowles

I’m a food-gobbling, book-reading, aspiring photog. Born and raised in Seattle, I love dancing in the rain, bouquets of fresh basil and green grass between my toes. I like how kneading butter into flour makes my fingers soft. I’m passionate about all things sweet potato. I prefer my coffee black, my scotch on the rocks and my steak bloody. I hunt, when I have time; play basketball; and hike. I’ve been known to laugh so hard I hyperventilate. And, I’m the owner of Making Language Count, a boutique freelance writing business.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *