Spicy Quinoa Salad

by Aug 31, 2008

How convenient to find inspiration in August’s Food & Wine, an idea for using garbanzo beans and quinoa! These two staples seem to have reproduced in my fridge this week. (That, and zucchini…want any?)

A mixture of smoked paprika, turmeric, and cumin are behind the “spicy” in this salad…not so much a “hot” spicy, but a wonderful, flavorful spicy that stands on its own, or livens up a more mellow entree. We enjoyed it with a few slices of grilled steak over salad greens.

Spicy Quinoa Salad


  • 4 cups cooked quinoa see notes
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise, grilled then chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • a few cilantro leaves, if you like them and if you have them
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juice from
  • 1 tsp each: sea salt, turmeric, smokey paprika, cumin


  1. Lightly coat the zucchini stalks with olive oil and grill or broil until softened a bit. Let cool until you can handle them, then chop into pieces.

  2. Stir together cooked quinoa, garbanzo beans, zucchini, scallions, and cilantro. Sprinkle with spices, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice then stir to combine.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • Cook quinoa just like rice—in a rice cooker! Be sure to rinse quinoa with water a few times before you start cooking. The seeds have a soapy coating to deter pests—harmless to us, but not very tasty. Just put the quinoa in a bowl of water, swish, and pour off the water, two or three times.

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