Virtual Vegan Potluck: Three Herb Quinoa Salad

May 11, 2013

I’m excited to be participating in this year’s Virtual Vegan Potluck.

virtual vegan potluck

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the potluck it goes like this. Over 150 bloggers have come together to virtually create a potluck. Hmm, that description wasn’t very good, let’s try again. Each blogger is assigned a course and we create a vegan dish in our assigned category. You can then toggle along the entire chain by following the links below my recipe.

It’s a great way to discover new bloggers and get some wonderful vegan recipe ideas.

This year, I was all about the side dish and what better way to celebrate vegan sides than with quinoa.3-herb quinoa salad

This is the best quinoa salad I’ve made in quite some time. That’s saying a lot considering I seem to make a new one every other day.

Here’s how it all came together. This week was busy. After flying to Chicago, wedding dress shopping and teaching my power boot camp plus my regular classes, I left this dish until the last-minute.

This afternoon in the beginnings of panic I started looking at the contents of my fridge and pantry. What I found was a bunch of herbs…3 herbs

…and some quinoa. Perfect!

I was skeptical of these three herbs: basil, cilantro and parsley, coming together but it was worth a shot. I could always start again if need be. Instead the mixture blew me away. Bright, light and full of flavor.

Makes: 3-4 side servings

Cook time from start to finish: 35 minutes

Three Herb Quinoa Salad (vegan, gluten-free)3 herb quinoa salad

2 cups cooked quinoa, if you need a tutorial on how to cook the perfect quinoa you can find it here.

1/2 cup fresh basil

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 cup fresh parsley

3 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Dash of cayenne pepper

2-3 tablespoons water

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas

1/2 can water chestnuts, chopped (jicama could also be substituted here)

1/2 an avocado, diced


Cook quinoa.

While quinoa is cooking place all ingredients from basil through cayenne pepper into food processor.

Process for about a minute. If the herb mixture is thick, add a few tablespoons of water.

The herb mixture will always be a little chunky, that’s fine, it doesn’t need to be complete thinned out.herb mix

Once quinoa is done cooking, place in a big bowl with chickpeas and water chestnuts. Next add the herb mixture.

Stir until well combined.

The quinoa will turn a lovely green color.

I topped mine with a little extra champagne vinegar and lime juice.

This can be served at room temperature or cold.Β three herb quinoa salad

Now if you’d like more great recipes, head back to Too Cheap for Pine Nuts.

go back

Or forward to Vegan Fling.

go forward

Enjoy and Exhale!


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  • Reply The Healthy Flavor May 11, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Looks absolutely delish Lisa! I love all the ingredients, especially the champagne vinegar. I love the beautiful green color it has…I’m seriously hungry for it right now! I’m in desserts this year πŸ™‚

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thanks Brandi. Your hazelnut raspberry bars look so decadent! I’ll swap you a bar for some quinoa. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Poppy May 11, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Wow that looks and sounds delicious, I love the colour and it’s so healthy too!

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Thank you Poppy. Like all my recipes it’s also super simple to make.

      • Reply Poppy May 12, 2013 at 10:16 am

        Always a bonus! πŸ™‚

  • Reply An Unrefined Vegan May 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I love the color of this! And your presentation is beautiful. Thank you so much for joining the Potluck!

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Thank you! And thank you for putting together the Potluck. I love participating.

  • Reply Trish @infinebalance May 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Lovely salad! So fresh. Happy potluck!

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Trish. Your lemon donuts look divine!

  • Reply veghotpot May 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Gorgeous salad, and I love your cute bowls they’re lovely!

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:49 am

      I’m seriously going to have to make your hot pot this week. It looks right up my alley! Thank you for sharing it. And the bowls are from Anthropology, relatively cheap for that store too!

      • Reply veghotpot May 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        Thank you πŸ™‚ never heard of Anthropology before but with bowls like that I think I may get addicted hehe

        • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm

          I actually think it’s spelled Anthropologie but check them out. Their clothes are pricey but their kitchen nit-nak stuff isn’t too bad.

  • Reply Starr May 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I love quinoa, but have a difficult time coming up with tasty ways to use it myself. Thanks for sharing this recipe πŸ™‚

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Happy to help. Look on my recipe page, there’s a whole section for quinoa. My favorite is the quinoa stuffed peppers, so good!

  • Reply sugarcoatedvegan May 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    This looks amazing! I love quinoa with avocados.

    – alexis

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Thanks Alexis! The combo of avocado and quinoa is a favorite of mine as well but then again I love avocado with everything.

  • Reply Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) May 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Lovely! This looks and sounds delicious– I always love avocado with quinoa, even though I don’t make quinoa that often. It’s a fabulous idea to add chickpeas to bulk things up a little, and I can just imagine the nice satisfying crunch of water chestnuts or jicama in there too. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Thanks Allison. I think the water chestnut crunch is what made this dish. I love that added texture. It was even better the next day!

  • Reply Brittany May 11, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I should NOT have come to this post hungry. That avocado is speaking to me. This look so good.

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Haha. That’s exactly how I felt making the potluck rounds. Your cupcakes look amazing! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Somer May 12, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Mmm, quinoa with all that greeness looks amazing!

    Hey, I’m on the potluck committee, would you mind updating your go forward and go back links with the permalinks to the blogs before and after you? Here they are:

    Before you:

    I’ll get back to you about Vegan Fling. I can’t find her permalink. Thanks in advance!


    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Thanks for organizing Somer. And yes, I’ll update the permalinks now.

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks Somer, all set!

      • Reply Somer May 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm

        appreciate it so much! Hopefully soon all the links will be fixed so it’ll be smooth clickin’ through for everyone!

  • Reply Somer May 12, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Oh! Here’s Vegan Fling’s permalink:

    Thanks again!

  • Reply Sophie33 May 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I would like to digg in 1 big filled bowl right now, please! MMMMMMMM! A lovely combo of fine flavours! A great & tasty entry for the VVP! I love it!

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks Sophie. I wish I could hand a big bowl over to you right now. Definitely try it, totally delicious!

  • Reply Gabby @ the veggie nook May 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I found my way here from the VVP and I just have to say, your blog name is AMAZING πŸ™‚

    I love this salad, looks so fresh and vibrant!

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Thank you Gabby! Your coconut lime layer bars look so fun!

  • Reply sweetveg May 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    This looks delicious! I love the dressing. This is going on my list of recipes to try. Thank you!

    • Reply Lisa May 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      Thank you so much! Let me know how you like it when you make it.

  • Reply Maggie Muggins May 13, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I never thought quinoa could look pretty but you did it! Love the presentation, those chunks of avocado are in need of being eaten πŸ™‚

    • Reply Lisa May 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Ah thank you! About a second after I took the last shot I grabbed the avocado right off that quinoa πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Melissa May 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    This looks super tasty! I love quinoa salads too and am always looking for new combinations. Happy Potluck!

    • Reply Lisa May 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks Melissa! Your artichoke chickpea salad looks amazing!

  • Reply spinachrevolution May 15, 2013 at 9:47 am

    This looks so yummy. Everything is just beautiful, colours fantastic, I even love the bowls that you used. Thank you for the great recipe. Love the spicy herby flavours. Definitely going to try this as an entire meal, not just a side πŸ™‚

    • Reply Lisa May 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Thank you! I ate it as a main course the night after I made it. So delicious!

  • Reply Eat,live,burp May 16, 2013 at 12:25 am

    all my favorite herbs in one! I am definitely making this soon, maybe will add some mint too.

    • Reply Lisa May 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      I thought mint would be a nice addition, I just didn’t have any. If you make it with mint let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply vixbakes May 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Great! I need more quinoa salads.
    x Vix :: vegan baking + raw desserts

    • Reply Lisa May 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Glad I could help!

      • Reply vixbakes June 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

        Hi Lisa, I tried your recipe today (with a few substitutions based on what I had at home) and it was delicious! It seemed like a huge quantity before I served it, but it disappeared in no time! Thanks + have a great day.
        x Vix

        • Reply Lisa June 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm

          Haha, quinoa always seems like it will be too much but then has a way of disappearing too fast. So glad you liked the recipe, it’s become a favorite of mine!

  • Reply Virtual Vegan Potluck: Herbed Roasted Potatoes in Cheezy Sauce | Too Cheap for Pine Nuts May 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

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  • Reply Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} May 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I love quinoa! I have been unable to find champagne vinegar however I can maybe substitute a different kind of vinegar?

    • Reply Lisa May 26, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Hi Anna! Champagne vinegar is not pivotal. Any light vinegar will work just as well. I would recommend white balsamic.

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