Cindy from Vegetarian Mamma looks to quinoa for simple protein-friendly recipes for a very busy life. Sponsored by NoGii.

Three Simple Quinoa Recipes For A Busy Schedule

Quinoa is quickly rising in popularity in the food world. This little grain (which is actually a seed!) is considered to provide many healthy benefits and packs quite the punch when it comes to its overall nutrient wealth. While quinoa is cooked and served like a grain – quinoa overcomes where other grains lack. Quinoa serves as a complete protein source.

Cooking quinoa is much simpler than you might think – almost as easy as rice! Basic cooking instructions will be listed on store packages. General cooking guidelines will instruct you to take 1 cup of dry quinoa and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover pot with lid. Simmer quinoa for about 15 minutes over low heat. As the water absorbs into the quinoa, the shape will change. Quinoa begins looking like a round ball, when cooked it becomes slightly more flat and has a small curly tail. Quinoa is cooked when all water is absorbed and the quinoa tails are visible.

In my house, we focus on simple recipes – and it’s no different when it comes to quinoa. We try to use foods that are easy to find and easy to prepare. Often times when my lunch hour rolls around, I panic. If I don’t have something prepared, I typically do not make good eating choices. One of my favorite things to do is to prepare a dish that I can pre-portion and eat each day for lunch. Today I am sharing a favorite Functional Quinoa Salad. It’s functional because you can eat it warm or cold. It also tastes great in a corn taco or gluten-free tortilla wrap! As you can see, it is pretty functional for busy schedules!

Functional Quinoa Salad

Vegetarian Mamma

Functional Quinoa Salad


  • 2 c English Cucumber, diced
  • 1 c Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ c Kalamata Olives, halved
  • ¼ c Capers
  • ¼ c Red Onion, diced
  • ½ c Fresh Spinach, chopped
  • ½ c Fresh Mint, chopped
  • ¼ c Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • ½ c Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 ½ c Quinoa, prepared and cooked per directions on box or above
  • ¼ c Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 T Bragg’s Amino or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce Alternative


  • Prepare Quinoa per instructions on container or above. Note that the 2 ½ cups of quinoa that is required for this recipe is cooked quinoa, not dry quinoa.
  • Place cooked quinoa in bowl.
  • Place ALL other ingredients into bowl and stir to combine.
  • Place bowl in refrigerator for 1 hour to let the flavors marry. Serve and enjoy!

Looking for other recipes to help you get through the busy week? Check out these easy and simple quinoa recipes that are sure to make your belly happy!

Vegetable Quinoa Soup is a very easy soup to make, especially when it comes to busy week night schedules! This soup is adaptable for flavors. Be sure to season with salt and pepper, your favorite all-purpose seasoning spice or HOT sauce! A gluten-free roll or baguette would be a perfect addition to this meal!

Hungry for stir fry? We’ve got you covered with this Quinoa Stir Fry from I’m A Celiac. This dish boasts lots of flavor and can be made in less than 20 minutes. For a vegetarian option, just switch out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and sub in your favorite bean instead of the chicken.

What’s your quinoa recipe of choice for a busy day?