Red Quinoa Avocado Salad

by - 5:23 PM

As promised, here is my recipe for the Red Quinoa Avocado Salad that I brought to the MKE Foodie Fitness Spring Fete!

Photo Credit: Capture Life Moments
This is one of my favorite pre-race day salads. I cook up a whole batch and eat it with baked salmon or grilled chicken breast 1-2 days before my race.

It is also a great side dish for grilling out in the summer and fall - try grilling the avocados before putting them into the salad. The flavors of the cumin and coriander go nicely with the flavors picked up from a charcoal grill.

The salad is also not too heavily dressed and will keep for several days in your fridge; the lemon juice acts as a preservative for the avocado which prevents it from getting brown.

Red Quinoa Avocado Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

(Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine)


3 Tbs. raisins (preferably a mix of dark and golden)
2 Tbs. dried apricots, thinly sliced
1 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed well
1 large lemon
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
2 medium firm-ripe avocados (6 to 7 oz. each), pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 medium scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 to 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped toasted almonds
Freshly ground black pepper & kosher salt


In a medium bowl, soak the raisins and apricots in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Immediately fluff the quinoa with a fork and turn it out onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature. (FGK note: Make sure to do this step - if you don't and try to mix it all right away, the quinoa becomes sticky and mushy.)

Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then whisk the lemon zest and 1 Tbs. lemon juice with olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In a large bowl, toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa, raisins, apricots, avocado, scallions, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Red Quinoa Avocado Salad Recipe
Red Quinoa Avocado Salad
Yum! I think I need to make more of this right now.

Some people have asked me why I use red quinoa instead of white - I find that the red quinoa is heartier and more nutty, which is a nice base for this salad. You can find the red variety at both Trader J's and Whole Foods.

Lots of big stuff on the way this week - stay tuned for a fun surprise on Friday!
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