Fresh and delicious, this hearty Peach Quinoa Salad is full of some of the best foods out there! Light enough to serve for lunch, but filling enough to be a dinner meal.
There are a lot of quinoa salad recipes out there, but this one has it all. Lots of protein from a variety of sources, greens, more veggies, and even fruit! Every single group is represented in this salad. We love the variety of flavors and textures in this quinoa salad, and it is a great way to introduce some of them to your kids. If they struggle with mixing everything together, you can always serve the different ingredients to them separately on a plate, with a drizzle of the delicious dressing. You might be surprised what your kids will try! Each of these ingredients adds nutrition, flavor, and texture to this tasty salad.
How Do You Make Quinoa Taste Good?
Quinoa is actually a seed, and grows with a natural coating of a substance called saponin. Whole quinoa seeds are in a husk or shell. The exterior of these husks is where the saponin is located. This husk is removed before the quinoa is packaged and sold. But a lot of times there is still some saponin left on your quinoa. This can give your quinoa a bitter taste. The solution to preventing bitter quinoa is easy! All you need to do is rinse your uncooked quinoa in cold running water for a minute or so until the water runs clear. Because quinoa is so small, a mesh strainer works much better than a colander, so that the quinoa doesn’t fall through the holes. Once you get rid of the bitter taste, there are even more ways to make your quinoa super tasty:
- Cook it in chicken or vegetable broth.
- Add fresh or dried herbs.
- Toast it for a minute or two before adding the water.
- Saute it in a little oil with onions and garlic.
- Make a Quinoa Salad!
Here is one method to making super fluffy quinoa.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa has become popular among the health conscious, and for good reason. It is is packed with protein, fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. It is also gluten-free and is a great substitute for wheat. Quinoa is well-known for being one of the only plant foods that supplies complete proteins, offering all essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Essential amino acids are ones that the body cannot produce on its own, and complete proteins contain all of them in roughly equal measure.
People often substitute quinoa for rice. Quinoa is commonly considered to be a grain and is usually referred to as such, but it is actually a seed. When cooked, quinoa is soft and fluffy, with a slightly nutty taste. It can also be made into flour, flakes and various foods like pasta and bread.
Quinoa has an unusual makeup but incredible balance of protein, oil and fat, as well minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins, which make it what some people call a ‘superfood’. Phytohormones are found in quinoa, uncommon in other plant foods. Phytohormones help regulate plant growth. Some types, called phytoestrogens, are being studied as a treatment for menopause symptoms because they sometimes behave like estrogen in the body.
Delicious Quinoa Recipes
If you like quinoa and want to eat more of it, start with this quinoa salad then try some of our other recipes! Quinoa is one of the most diverse foods and so we have quite the variety of recipes to put it in!
- Quinoa Coconut Granola Bars
- Fried Quinoa for Kids
- Quinoa Coated Chicken Nuggets
- Coconut and Mango Quinoa Breakfast
- One-Pot Mexican Quinoa
- Raspberry Quinoa Smoothie
Sweet and Savory Peach Quinoa Salad
- Using a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, juice of lemons and orange, honey, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Mince shallot and add to dressing. Whisk again and set aside.
- Cook quinoa as directed on package; remove from heat and allow to completely cool.
- Slice chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium.
- Add chicken strips and cook for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.
- While chicken cooks, remove pit from peaches and dice. Dice celery. Add to a large mixing bowl with spinach, chickpeas, feta cheese, and almonds.
- Once chicken has cooled to room temperature, add to salad. Drizzle with dressing; toss to fully coat. Serve.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie