Gluten-Free Recipe: Colorful Quinoa Salad

Written by Preeti Gundecha

We've all been there: It's lunch time, you're hungry, your kids are hungry but you have no idea what to eat. You've run out of ideas to make food enjoyable while at the same time adding variety to each meal. All you know is that you want something quick and easy and without much hassle.

I was faced with the exact same conundrum yesterday. It was almost noon and I needed to figure out lunch that my 4-year-old would eat. I went looking in my pantry and fridge to see what I had. I grabbed a couple of things and got to work. Along came this recipe! When my son finished everything on his plate, I knew lunch was a success!

So here it is, my Colorful Quinoa salad recipe:


  • 1 cup red cabbage chopped
  • 1 cup romaine (or any) lettuce roughly chopped
  • 1 scallion
  • 3 carrots, cut into sticks
  • 3 parsnips, cut into sticks
  • 1 chopped avocado
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Olive oil

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a bowl, mix carrots and parsnips with some olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place the carrots and parsnips on a baking sheet and roast on 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, tossing and mixing in between. I used my toaster oven on the convection bake setting to do this. You can also do this in the oven.

While the carrots and parsnips are roasting, cook quinoa as per package directions. Use 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups broth or water. Add some salt and pepper to taste. You can also sprinkle some garlic powder to this mix to add some additional flavor. Cook covered on medium heat for 15 minutes.

Remove vegetables from oven and let cool.

Once quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and let it cool.

In a serving bowl, mix quinoa with the roasted veggies. Add cabbage, lettuce, scallion, avocado and sunflower seeds.

Add lemon juice and some olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

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