Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, and Cucumbers
Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, and Cucumbers has a flavorful cumin-lime vinaigrette that makes it refreshing and healthy for a summer side dish.
Do I dare confess that I was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed this Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, and Cucumbers? I’ve definitely been a slow adopter when it comes to quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) but recently I made a promise to myself that I would try using it more.
And this salad that’s loaded with flavor from avocado, radishes, and cucumbers also has a delicious cumin-lime vinaigrette that perfectly goes with the pleasant flavor of the Quinoa. Now that I realize I like quinoa so well, you can bet I’ll be trying other experiments with this interesting seed that’s cooked as a grain; meanwhile if you’re also a quinoa novice, give this tasty salad a try and see what you think.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a plant that’s in the same family as spinach and amaranth, but it’s grown primary for the edible seeds. Quinoa is loaded with nutrients, as well as being gluten-free and a source of complete protein, and it has a pleasant, somewhat nutty taste and slightly crunchy texture. Most Quinoa has to be rinsed, so check the package for that.
How to Make Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, and Cucumbers:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Nearly all quinoa has to be rinsed well with cold water, because the seeds are coated with saponins, which give the quinoa a bitter taste if they aren’t rinsed off. You’ll need a very fine mesh strainer, or you can use a paper towel inside a strainer to catch the tiny quinoa seeds.
- You can cook quinoa in a rice cooker, but I just use the stovetop method. Use 2 cups water for 1 cup rinsed quinoa, and simmer about 15 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed, keep an eye on it.)
- Here’s how much the cooked quinoa expanded (about 3 times the volume.) When the water is all absorbed, let the quinoa cool a little and then fluff with a fork. I cooled it in the salad bowl for about 15 minutes before I mixed the salad together.
- While the quinoa is cooking, dice the avocados and toss with lime juice, thinly slice green onions, and chop radishes and cucumbers in same-size pieces. I left just a little cucumber skin for color, and scraped out the seeds so the cucumber wouldn’t make the salad watery.
- While the quinoa cools, whisk together the lime juice, cumin, Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), Vege-Sal (affiliate link) or salt, and olive oil to make the dressing.
- When the quinoa is cool, mix in the diced radishes, diced cucumbers, and thinly sliced green onions.
- Stir in enough dressing to moisten the quinoa and vegetables (you may not need all the dressing if you prefer your salads on the drier side.)
- Then gently stir in the diced avocados, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve.
- This was okay after being in the refrigerator overnight, but I don’t think it would keep for more than a day or two without the vegetables losing their crispness.
More Tasty Recipes with Quinoa:
Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Black Bean, Quinoa, and Red Pepper Salad ~ The Perfect Pantry
Quinoa Tabbouleh with Parsley and Mint ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Greek Quinoa Salad ~ Two Peas and Their Pod
Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onion, and Cilantro ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Red, White, and Blue Quinoa Fruit Salad ~ Well Plated
- 1 cup quinoa (rinsed well with cold water)
- 2 cups water
- 2 avocados, peeled and diced in 3/4 inch pieces
- 1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice (for tossing avocado)
- 1 cup chopped radishes (diced in 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 large cucumber (peeled with thin green stripes remaining, seeds scraped out, and diced in 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 3 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (or use other all purpose seasoning blend of your choice)
- 1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal (or use 1/4 tsp. sea salt)
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- Put 1 cup quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer (or put a paper towel inside your strainer if it’s not fine enough to catch the quinoa seeds.)
- Rinse quinoa well with cold water.
- Bring 2 cups water to boil in a small saucepan, stir in quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on it, because it may take more or less than 15 minutes, depending on exactly how high you have the heat.)
- You can also cook the quinoa in a rice cooker if you prefer.
- Let the cooked quinoa cool for a few minutes, then place in salad bowl, fluff with a fork and cool until quinoa is room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- While quinoa cooks and cools, peel avocado, dice into 3/4 inch pieces, place in small bowl, and toss with 1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice.
- Peel cucumbers, leaving thin green stripes, scrape out seeds, and dice cucumbers into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Cut off root and stem end of radishes, wash if needed, and dice into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Thinly slice enough green onions to make 1/4 cup.
- In a small bowl, stir together the 3 T lime juice, ground cumin, Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), Vege-Sal (affiliate link) or salt, then whisk in the olive oil.
- When quinoa has cooled to room temperature in the salad bowl, stir in the diced radishes, diced cucumbers, and thinly-sliced green onions. (Don’t add avocado until the end.)
- Stir in enough dressing to moisten salad to your liking (you may not need all the dressing.)
- Gently stir in diced avocado, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve immediately.
- This was okay when I kept it in the fridge overnight, but I don’t think it would keep for longer than a day, and it was better freshly made.
I love Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) but you can use any all-purpose seasoning blend.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 6gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Even though quinoa is technically a seed and not a grain, it’s considered phase two for the original South Beach Diet. Quinoa isn’t super low in carbs, but it’s high in protein and has some fiber and this salad is relatively low in net carbs. If you want a lower-carb version of Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, and Cucumbers use more cucumber and radishes and less quinoa.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more healthy salads like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.