Montery Jack Quinoa Salad

recipe for quinoa salad

Whew!  We are back in business!  If you have stopped by in the last few days, you may have been met with a server down error or — HORRORS a blank screen.  We were in the process of trying to speed things up to enhance user experience and ran into a few speed bumps on the way.  If you left a comment and thought I was ignoring you, please accept my sincere apologies.  Since I got my beloved iPad I have been doing a really good job of getting back to people right away to help answer questions.  Unfortunately, during the transition I was not able to access the part of the site that allowed me to respond to comments.   I had planned a graphic overhaul for next month but now I’m a little scared…. J

Anyway, back to food!

Since I read Quinoa 365, its really encouraged me to think about cooking quinoa in lots of new ways.   For instance, this awesome quinoa risotto.  I know that some of you probably get bored with my add lots of garlic and goat cheese renditions of quinoa.   This recipe is a complete deviation of anything I have ever tried with quinoa, and I must say it was really yummy.  I actually made everything but the quinoa early in the day and tasted it with just the beans and it was awesome.  Sans quinoa, it would a perfect The 4-Hour Body recipe.  (Love the book, Tim rocks, but don’t think I could give up my quinoa – even for 20lbs a month!  (What would I write about?) That said after reading the book I believe the slow carb diet works and picked up tips that I think will help me with my weight loss efforts!)


recipe for quinoa salad



Monterey Jack Quinoa Salad

1 cup of quinoa, rinsed

2 cups of plum tomatoes, diced

1/3 cup capers, rinsed and drain

½ onion, finely diced

½ cup pickled banana peppers, chopped

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped in a herb grinder

2 cups navy beans, drained

1 T apple cider vinegar

1 T red wine vinegar

1 T extra-virgin olive oil

½ tsp oregano

¼ teaspoon sea salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 to 6 ounces of Monterey Jack Cheese, cubed (amount depending on health goals)

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted


1.       Combine quinoa with 1 ¾ cup of broth or water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for another 5 minutes.  Cool.

2.      Combine tomatoes, capers, onion, banana peppers, parsley and navy beans in a bowl.

3.      Make dressing by combining vinegars, olive oil, oregano, sea salt and garlic.

4.      Combine quinoa, bean mixture and Monterrey jack cheese.  Toss with dressing.  Top with pine nuts and serve!


Tangy Quinoa Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette


Have you ever tried cooking with apple cider vinegar?  If not, you really should!  I have been using it for years, but an article in Vegetarian Times got me to thinking about it again.  Here is some information I got from that article about the benefits of vinegar as well as my own personal experience with apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Apple cider vinegar is created when apples are pulverized and allowed to ferment.  A healthy and powerful concoction is created when the fruit sugar is converted into acetic acid.  Bastyr Univeristy professor and nutritionist Jennifer Adler says that apple cider vinegar can help with digestion.  In another study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, it was found that just 2 teaspoons as part of a carbohydrate containing meal reduces the post meal blood glucose by 20%.  It would appear that one of the key apple cider vinegar benefits is that it has the ability to slow the release of sugar into your blood stream.

Apple cider benefits are real!  I can personally attest to the fact that apple cider vinegar helps with digestion.  When I was pregnant, I did not just get morning sickness.  I got all day sickness.  Unfortunately, as my pregnancy progressed it got worse and worse.  At night, I could not lie down without violent vomiting.  Let me tell you, I was really fun to live with – especially the second go around when I was chasing a baby!  There were only two things that I could take that gave me any relief.  One was ginger and the other was apple cider vinegar.

I would take two or three teaspoons with a cup of water before I ate and it helped everything other than the not being able to lie down at night issue.  I can’t say that it is pleasant, but it did help.

There are many people who believe that apple cider vinegar can also support your weight loss efforts.  Some people even do a cider vinegar cleanse and swear that it helps them! So, in addition to clean eating and finding diets that work, you may want to give apple cider vinegar a try.  It can’t hurt!

Why Raw Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar?

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Image via Wikipedia The Mother of Vinegar

To get the maximum benefits from apple cider vinegar, you want to get raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar that has the “mother of vinegar” in it.  You will see it floating in the vinegar and it is thought to contain most of the beneficial bacteria, nutrients and enzymes.  Additionally, one of the key benefits of apple cider it is thought to help with the immune system.

Now, in the event that chugging down vinegar isn’t your idea of fun regardless of the benefits, here is an adapted apple salad recipe from Vegetarian Times for you to enjoy!

Tangy Quinoa Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

1 ½ T apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups gated carrots

½ red apple, diced finely

¼ cup green onions, sliced

1 cup of cooked quinoa

¼ cup parsley

½ cup dried cranberries

1 tsp honey

1 T olive oil

1 T Dijon mustard

Baby Spinach leaves


1.      Combine the vinegar and garlic and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.

2.      Stir together carrots, apple, onions, quinoa, parsley and cranberries.

3.      In a blender combine honey, olive oil and mustard.  Add in vinegar mixture.

4.      Add to quinoa mixture and toss to coat.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours.  Serve over a bed of spinach leaves.

Give it a try and experience apple cider vinegar benefits for yourself!

Tags: quinoa salad apple cider vinegar