I’ve got to admit that my weekend stomach bug put a bit of a hiccup in my recent detox efforts — there’s just something about being in recovery mode that makes me want to eat nothing but slice after slice of buttered toast (hello, gluten!) Thankfully, I’m back in the saddle and loving the taste of clean eating again today, and this black quinoa salad is such a pure yet satisfying way to fuel up for a busy day of meetings. I originally got the idea for it from my friend Jane Coxwell’s “green apple and macadamia quinoa” in her fabulous fresh happy tasty cookbook, and after adapting it a thousand and one ways, this is my current favorite version. I love the nutty taste and dramatic shade of black quinoa, but you can use whatever color you’d like, or even substitute farro or couscous if you’re doing gluten. And feel free to use the fruits and veggies below as a jumping-off point… this recipe is ripe for experimentation, and would be great with chopped roasted beets, diced carrot or chunks of avocado for a little more heft. Keep reading for the recipe (and more photos by Melanie Grizzel), and I’d love to hear in the comments if any of you are cooking up any great lunchtime salads lately!

 Black Quinoa Chopped Salad

*serves 4. Gluten-free, (and vegan if you omit the yogurt.)


  • 1 cup cooked and cooled black quinoa (or white, or red — whatever you prefer. I like this recipe.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped seedless cucumber
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup red or black grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup marcona almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated (or 1/2 clove, minced)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used goat’s milk, but feel free to use greek or whatever you like)
  • a few squeezes agave nectar
  • maldon salt


  1. In a large bowl, combine quinoa with veggies, apples, grapes and almonds. Toss to combine, then add herbs, garlic, lemon juice, yogurt, agave and a couple pinches of maldon salt.
  2. Toss everything together and taste for seasonings, adding more salt if needed.

photos by Melanie Grizzel

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Comments (13)
  1. 1
    Molly {Dreams in HD} January 21, 2014 at 8:49 am

    oh i love the idea of yogurt on the salad.
    already have some black quinoa cooked in the fridge, i may have to try this tonight 🙂

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  2. 2
    Supal {chevrons and éclairs} January 21, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Love the addition of basil and mint! I love a salad with fresh herbs 🙂 x

  3. 3
    Anne Campbell January 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Looks DELISH. So up my alley! I made this on Saturday night, and it was perfection alongside homemade green enchiladas and Mark Bittman’s rice salad (from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/guacamole-salad-recipe/index.html

  4. 4
    districtandmore January 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it out. Up until now, this fall quinoa salad has been my go to lunch recipe: http://districtandmore.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/fall-quinoa-salad/

  5. 5
    Pink Peppercorn and Paprika January 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Quinoa in salads make them hearty enough for even a cold winter day like today! Lately, I have been trying to bring my own lunches to work and this recipe will add a nice variety! (minus the yogurt and sweet peppers for me 🙂

  6. 6
    Eva January 26, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Love your salad ! Wanna try very soon!!

  7. 7
    Kevin | Thou Swell January 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    This salad looks absolutely delicious (and healthy too)! I’ve been wanting to try black quinoa recently, doe sit taste any different from regular quinoa?

    • Camille Styles January 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      I think it’s just a little nuttier — I love it!

  8. 8
    Erin January 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Made this and loved it! Substituted Meyer lemon juice as that was what I had. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. 9
    Donna April 9, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Do you have a newsletter….a friend just intro me to your recipes.