Recipe: Quinoa & Vegetable Salad

Quinoa is an amazing nutritious grain from South America. It's a great source of dietary fibre, higher in protein than other grains and a source of many nutrients including iron. You can substitute it for rice or cous cous as sides for stir-fries, curries, casseroles or use it in place of oats for a porridge or as I've done below, add it to salad. This salad is suitable for those on the Full Solid Phase after surgery and is also vegan and gluten free diet. I've included a few good sources of plant-based iron including the quinoa, baby spinach, raisins and pumpkin seeds as well as sources of vitamin to to aid absorption e.g. the lemon juice and the fresh tomatoes and capsicum.

(Makes about 8-12 serves)


Quinoa and vegetables

  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 4 medium mushrooms, chopped into half and quarters, then finely sliced
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • ½ medium capsicum, finely chopped
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, finely chopped
  • ¼ raisins, sultanas or currans
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds / pepitas
  • ½ cup olives, cut in half
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Lemon dressing

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ ground black pepper


  1. Heat a medium fry pan on medium-high heat and add the 1 tsp oil. Once heated, add the oinons and pinch of salt and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until the onion goldens and the mushrooms soften. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, add the quinoa and vegetable ingredients and combine. Then add the lemon dressing and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Serve salad next to your favourite protein e.g. tofu, chicken, beef, fish, eggs etc. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days.