The best quinoa salad ever

Sunny days, crisp air, a shift in people’s mood, Spring is officially in bloom. When the weather changes it’s as if the ants come out literally and figuratively. Masses of people make their way out of hibernation and the burning desire to spend as much time as possible outdoors sets in.

At least for me this is the case. After a beautiful run along the Lachine canal last week I found myself in the middle of Point St. Charles and I was starving. I had run with some girlfriends who work in the area. By the time we finished, the cafes in the building did not have any food left. My friend says to me, “it’s OK, just walk right outside, make a right and then a left and then you’ll see a little Mexican restaurant that has the best quinoa salad ever!”

I went on my way to find the little cantina, but honestly after the hour and a half run, a quinoa salad wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Seeing as I was not at all familiar with the area I decided to pop into the little Mexican cantina and see what they had. Tacos, quesadillas, chips and guacamole.  Hmm, I do love Mexican food but this Texas girl has come to realize I just can’t get good Mexican food in Montreal. If someone can prove me wrong, please go ahead.

The voice of my friend (who I must say is quite a foodie) was ringing in my ears. “They have the best quinoa salad ever!” Really? What could make a quinoa salad taste that good? Begrudgingly I decided to give it a try. Knowing I was going to have to walk back to my car that was a good 10 minutes away to get my wallet for more money because “the best quinoa salad ever” cost more than the $10 bill that stays in the pocket of my running pants for emergencies.

I ordered the salad and went on my way back to the car, tired legs, the walk was probably good for me. A good 15 minutes later, wallet in hand, I made my way back into the cantina where the best quinoa salad ever was waiting for me.

The best quinoa salad ever

What a beauty. This salad definitely has the visual appeal down! The dressing came on the side without even asking, bonus! I dipped a little bit of the raw veggies in the dressing to make sure I liked it before pouring into my salad. Smoky, tangy, cilantro, all these yummy Mexican spices, it was good. I decided the dressing was a must and poured it over the salad.

Wow. I know I was starving but this seriously was the best quinoa salad ever. Full of protein rich quinoa, hearty veggies, a crumble of feta cheese, and pumpkin seeds, this salad was the perfect way to refuel post long run.

My attempt at this delicious salad can be found below. But if you’re ever around Pointe St. Charles, you should definitely check out the Café Cantina that has the best quinoa salad ever.

What is your favorite quinoa recipe?

Have a great week!

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Featured Recipe

The Best Quinoa Salad Ever (my version)

The best quinoa salad ever 2

1/2 cup quinoa
1 beet, cooked and peeled
1/2 bell pepper
5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/8 cup pumpkin seeds

Dressing Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup orange juice
Juice of one lime
1/4 tsp Chipotle flavored tobasco

Cook quinoa in 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork.
Chop all the veggies and serve on top of a bed of quinoa. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and pour over the top of salad. Serves 2.


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