A versatile quinoa salad

You may have noticed that recipes have been a little scarce on the site – and that’s for good reason. I’ve decided to slow down on mass-producing recipes and only share the real gems I’ve discovered. A classic case of quality over quantity, I like to think.

And, this is a bit of a gem. I wish I could think of a catchier title for it, but trust me when I say it might well become your new go-to office lunch – it has for me. I started with a base of quinoa and lentils (as quinoa is a little on the pricey side, the lentils help it go further and add an additional element of texture), and then left the rest to fate.

This is actually how I do most of my shopping – I have a rough idea of what I want to make, and then let inspiration finish it off for me. So, when browsing around my local Food Lover’s Market, I spotted some fresh, sweet corn, vibrant red chillis and ripe avocados (thank you winter for the abundance of avocados), and a complete dish started to form. I made big bowl of the quinoa salad base and then enjoyed it with a different “topping” each day of the week – from pan-fried broccoli, to roasted aubergine – whatever I happened to feel like.

It’s fresh, crunchy, sweet and hot – and can be eaten chilled, at room temperature or hot, and keeps for days in the fridge. Packed with protein and fresh vegetables, it’s everything I want (and need) to get me through the day.

To help inspire you to spend a little more time in the kitchen and come up with something delicious of your own, I’ve partnered with Food Lover’s Market for the next three months, where I’ll be giving away a R500 voucher to a lucky reader each month.

Win a R500 voucher from Food Lover’s Market, as well as an apron and recipe book

Terms and conditions:

  • To enter, hop on over to any of the Food Lover’s Market’s social media pages (TwitterFacebook or Instagram) and give them a follow.
  • Leave a comment on this blog post post using #foodloversfresh, letting me know what would be the first thing you’d buy with this voucher
  • The R500.00 voucher cannot be traded for cash.
  • Winners of the competition cannot enter again in September or October
  • The competition is open to all South Africans
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • Competition closes 30 August 2016
The recipe for this dish follows below.


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup uncooked lentils, rinsed
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
handful dried cranberries, finely chopped
2 ears fresh corn (or can substitute with 1 tin corn kernels, drained)
2 large spring onions, finely sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste


Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the lentils and quinoa. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the lentils still have a little bite. Remove from the heat, drain, rinse and set aside.

Place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and add 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Cut the corn from the ears and fry until starting to char in places. To assemble, add the corn to the quinoa mixture, along with the rest of the ingredients. Toss well. Allow to cool and place in a sealed container in the fridge.

This post is sponsored by Food Lover’s Market. All views and images are my own.

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A versatile quinoa salad