Vegetarian Tricolor Quinoa Salad

Contains:  Nightshades (grape tomatoes)..  Is:  Vegetarian, vegan (if using avocado oil or EVOO instead of butter).

quinoa, recipe, vegetarian, vegan option, hearts of palm, greens, salad, grape tomatoes

A submission to a challenge at CookingBites.Com, where an essential ingredient has to be quinoa.  There are three quinoa colors – I decided to run a taste test of all three.  Since I could not cook all three in my rice cooker at the same time (without them running together), I decided this had to be a salad, as I wanted all the quinoa to be served at the same temperature.  

This recipe per person will make up excess quinoa – it will be difficult to make amounts lower than called for here, per quinoa type.  

quinoa, salad, recipe

I wanted this to have something of a Mediterranean feel, so I chose some of the other salad ingredients accordingly.  

Prep Time:   15 minutes, max. 
Cook Time:  Quinoa cooking time will depend on method, and how many varieties you can do at a time.  Afterwards, no more cooking!
Rest Time:  Not needed.
Serves:  The quinoa portion is good for 2-3 people; the rest of the salad, for one. 
Leftovers:  Probably! Avocado may darken.  In the case of leftovers, I’d run all the ingredients together and save in the fridge.

Vegetarian Tricolor Quinoa Salad


  • 1/3 cup each of white, red, and black quinoa.  You can rinse if you so choose.  This amount of quinoa will provide enough for at least TWO servings.  The items below are Per Plate!:
  • 4.5 teaspoons of butter (or of a good oil such as olive (EVOO), avocado, or grapeseed).  This is to be divided three ways.  
  • Salad greens
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced.
  • About 5 grape tomatoes, halved,
  • About 3-4 inches of heats of palm, sliced. 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed.
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil


Each quinoa type:  cook separately with 2x the volume of water (but verify for each on the packaging).  Add a pat (approximately 1.5 teaspoons) of butter when setting up the cookery.  (For vegan, use about 1.5 teaspoons olive or avocado oil.)  I used my rice cooker, with consecutive batches of different colors of quinoa.  Set the cooking type to “brown rice”.  

Remove each, cover and chill, separately.  

When ready to assemble, allow to come more or less to room temperature.  

Arrange as you prefer:  Here this is a triskele (a three-armed arrangement) of quinoa, each of the three branches (right hand and clockwise around) is black, then red, then white quinoa.  The central hub contains all three.  Vegetation was arranged so that these items might better stand out with color contrast.  

Serve with a lemon / EVOO dressing.  

recipe, quinoa, salad, vegetarian, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes, avocado, capers

Taste differences:  None discernable, although the black quinoa was a bit drier in texture than the others.  

Shared with:  

About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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8 Responses to Vegetarian Tricolor Quinoa Salad

  1. helenfern says:

    I have only recenty discovered that I like quinoa! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party. Have wonderful week!

  2. It wasn’t until I tried the red and black quinoa that I learned to like it. This is a beautiful arrangement. Thanks for bringing it to Fiesta Friday.

  3. That’s beautiful! Quinoa tastes slightly bitter to me though it’s not a deal-breaker, especially since it’s so healthy for you. But I really LOVE it in salads!

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