Quinoa Spring Market Salad

Loreto April 10, 2017

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Quinoa Spring Market Salad, colorful, fresh and bright from the red and white quinoa, carrots, radishes, caramelized yellow onion, long green beans, and sprouted bean mix for some extra crunch, and some parsley for garnish. This month’s collaboration for the group #cdnfoodcreatives and the theme “Bring on Spring!”.

quinoa spring market salad

Quinoa Spring Market Salad, a blend of color, texture, and the start of the growing season here in Alberta. Flavors ranging from the nuttiness of the quinoa, to the sweetness of those carrots, and some spice from the radishes, to that char on the green beeans. Add a little creamy feta, and we have a delightful, colorful dish of spring.



Quinoa Spring Market Salad, with its light and bright colors, brings us into spring with a smile and a feeling of happiness. Beautiful textures and fresh flavors accompanied by that acidic creamy feta, we have a salad worth the intro to spring.

Here in Edmonton, Alberta, spring growth is a bit slow, markets still showing signs of winter, and just a smidgen of color starts to entice us with the corner of your eye. One thing about the Old Strathcona Market this week is the abundance of people. You can tell that spring is in the air, as people open their doors, venture out sans heavy clothing, sporting short sleeve shirts and light jackets. The best thing is the smiles and joyfulness that is in the air. I have to say that winter here is long, and the first signs of spring put that spring back into our steps.  Our bag is full of goodies and Nicoletta and I are really excited to get started on our spring dish.

quinoa spring market salad

Quinoa Spring Market Salad: let’s celebrate Spring! 

Nicoletta and I wanted to really make this dish colorful and fresh. This was a bit hard as colorful and a variety of produce here in the spring is not in abundance. We managed to find some and determined to make the best of it, start right into it and stop the thinking train. So in this salad, we are going to have red and white quinoa, carrots, radishes, caramelized yellow onion, long green beans, and sprouted bean mix for some extra crunch, and some parsley for garnish. To make it shine a bit more some crumbled creamy feta.

quinoa spring market salad

When thinking of the beans I immediately had a picture in my mind of them being a bit charred from the bbq. It’s spring and in the air is the scent of barbecues being fired up, with that recognizable smoke in the air. Carrots, radishes, want to keep raw and crisp. The onions I am going to saute and caramelize with some spices. The dressing something bright, with flavors complimenting the ingredients.

quinoa spring market salad

quinoa spring market salad

I love the look of this salad. From the pearls of white and red of the quinoa to the vibrant colors of carrots and radishes. The caramelized onion like gold velvety morsels shimmering the sunlight. The green beans beautifully blanched and then charred on the grill with that shimmer of olive oil and seasoning adding a nice contrast to the quinoa. The flavor so wonderful. The quinoa slightly al dente, with a backdrop of nuttiness. The carrots sweet and crisp, with its counterpart the radish peppery and fresh. The green beans also add a nice crunch, but that smokiness of the char is just what the doctor ordered. The acidity comes from a wonderful sesame, lemon, tahini dressing adding in a bit of sweetness from some sugar and balsamic cream. The sprouted bean mix is like adding some nuts to the textural mix, wonderfully nutty and pleasantly crunchy. To top it off, even more, some creamy feta, its saltiness counters a bit of the sweetness but its texture is lavish on the tongue. Each ingredients reminding us of the elements of spring, bright, cheerful. This Quinoa Spring Market Salad will surely lighten up your step, and bring a smile to your face.


We’ve partnered up with few other Canadian food creatives to bring you a collection of spring recipes. You can find their links at the bottom of this post. Thank you, Melanie The Refreshanista for hosting this month’s theme!

quinoa spring market salad

Quinoa Spring Market Salad

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes



  • 3/4 cups red and white quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Pinch of sea salt

Green beans:

  • 150 g long green beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of onion powder
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced


  • 1/4 cup carrot sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/8 cup radishes sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup multi colored cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/8 cup sprouted bean mix

caramelized onion:

  • 1/2 cup yellow onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt, sugar, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and yellow curry
  • 1 tbsp water
  • At the end add a pat of butter


  • 1Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp white fig balsamic
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar


  • 2 Tbsp creamy feta
  • 1 tsp finely chopped parsley



  1. In a medium sauce pan add quinoa, water and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes uncovered.
  3. Take off heat and set aside.

Caramelized onions:

  1. Drizzle olive oil into saute pan and bring to a low to medium heat.
  2. Add in onion and saute for a couple of minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in salt, sugar, pepper, onion powder, and yellow curry.
  4. Pour in water and let simmer till onions become translucent and golden in color about 3 minutes.

Green beans:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  2. Place in green beans
  3. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Rinse them in cold water and drain.
  5. Heat up grill.
  6. Place beans into a bowl and add olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, and minced garlic.
  7. Heat up the barbecue and place beans into a metal perforated grilling bowl.
  8. Place bowl with greens onto barbecue and grill for about 5 minutes until you see a char starting on the beans.
  9. Take off grill and place in a bowl to cool.


  1. In a bowl whisk canola oil, tahini, sesame oil, white balsamic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and sugar. Blend until well incorporated.


  1. Take quinoa and fork lightly to fluff the grain, then place in bowl.
  2. Arrange all the other ingredients, carrots, radishes, caramelized onion, green beans, and sprouted bean mix in parts in the bowl.
  3. Place dressing in a serving dish after whisking it a bit more.


  1. This is an intimate and interactive dish where you and your guests can pick and choose from the serving dish.
  2. Drizzle some dressing.
  3. Crumble some feta.
  4. A nice dusting of parsley.
  5. And there you have it. Happy Spring!
  6. Enjoy!


For a vegan option, omit the feta.


  • Serving Size: 4 servings
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quinoa spring market salad

Check out these delicious recipes from other #cdnfoodcreatives !

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  • Avatar
    Reply killingthyme April 10, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Love this salad, you guys! It’s so bright and refreshing and I can practically taste it from over here! I’m such a sucker for quinoa too, oh goodness.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 10, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Thank you Dana you made me laugh. It is interesting when you read comments. If you are sensitive enough you can feel the energy behind them and your comment emitted sheer joy. This salad was so delicious, and I even experimented with the last little bit and sauteed it in a wok, all I can say is OMG!
      A happy Easter to you and your Family from Nicoletta and I.

  • Avatar
    Reply Evelyne CulturEatz April 10, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Oh, did you say BBQ 😀 and spring market! Looks like an amazing salad and I hop spring officially arrives at your place very soon.No more snow!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 14, 2017 at 8:42 am

      Hi Evelyn, I think we pissed off the winter spirit, and it is pelting us with a vengence today. Woke up to a bit of a winter storm. I am not going to let that bring me down. The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar it will, sorry love musicals, lol. I here you on BBQ season and spring markets, well indoor ones today. Well I am just going to keep looking at this bright colorful, joyful salad and manifest my own sunshine. Thank you so much for commenting, and Have a wonderful Easter!

  • Avatar
    Reply Milena | Craft Beering April 10, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    This is one very vibrant plate! Any salad that has feta in it – sign me up!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 14, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Hi Milena, The feta we used was a new one we were introduced to. The brand name is Doric. It is so creamy, and has that nice feta acidic kick. Last night we made a panzanella salad and crumbled some on top, yum delicious. Thank you for the lovely comment, we always enjoy reading them and responding back.

  • Avatar
    Reply maria April 10, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    This salad is a great way to celebrate spring!!! I have never tried to BBQ green beans… putting it on my to-do list. Fantastic collaboration. Have a great week ♥

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 12, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      Maria you have to try it, it just brings enough smokiness into the dish to give it dimension and flavor. I love cooking outdoors and am so glad spring has sprung. Thanks for commenting.
      Happy Easter weekend to you

  • Avatar
    Reply All That I'm Eating April 11, 2017 at 5:41 am

    There are so many colours in this, what a great recipe for this time of year.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 12, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you, we agree, it just breaths spring and cheerfulness, with a side og health, lol. We are glad you enjoyed it.
      Have a great Easter weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply The Cookie Writer (@TheCookieWriter) April 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I LOVE salads! What I do not like about them is how fast I get bored. But this one can be so easily customized. I can see myself eating this all summer long! Seriously, some goat cheese in there would be lovely. Can you also teach me your photography ways? STUNNING! Have a great Easter (and keep making me drool!)

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 14, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. You are so right with this salad you can be so versatile and creative. The idea of the creamy goat cheese lovely, how about some charred eggplant, sizzled zucchini, patty pans, sun chokes, nuts, crispy onion bits. I could go on forever. As for the photography my beautiful wife does them. Nicoletta said maybe she will do a photo work shop, and you can attend, or maybe she will have a 1-900-food photo help line, lol. Again the possibilities endless.
      Have a great week end and a Happy Easter to you fron Nicoletta and I!

  • Avatar
    Reply Vicky Chin April 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    What a lovely salad ! Wow, it’s almost like a meal ! I love your use of green beans, I always just stir fry mine….so boring ! Now I know another way to use it ! It was a great round-up, thanks for sharing ! Happy Spring to both of you !

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 14, 2017 at 8:21 am

      Thank you Vicky, I love mixing it up a bit when it comes to cooking styles. The use of the grill to char the beans turned out to be a great thing and added so much flavor to an already delicious plate. I love stir frying especially if you have a wonderfully seasoned old wok that heats up well, you can get a char happening like that to. It does not have that smokiness like a grill but equally delicious.
      Have a wonderful Holiday weekend!

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