summer tomato quinoa salad


it's tomato season!!! i wait every summer for this moment, because store bought tomatoes do not compare to the tomatoes i pick from my mom's garden or pick up from the farmers market. sun ripened tomatoes picked ripe off the vine have a flavour like no other. so sweet & juicy! i am someone who will never put a tomato in the fridge, because in my opinion it instantly ruins the flavour. am i crazy or does any(every)one else agree?

anyways, with tomato season comes barbecue season (yay summer) & this is a perfectly healthy side dish to serve or bring to your next barbecue. it features summers best cherry tomatoes (i love the colourful ones) & cucumbers, but is also quite hearty thanks to the quinoa. this recipe uses bob's red mill's organic quinoa grain, which is a nutritional powerhouse! quinoa is a whole grain that is gluten free, a good source of iron & high in protien. there is a reason it has become so popular over the years! side note: have you ever had quinoa onion rings? the best.

the dressing for this salad features apple cider vinegar, for another hidden health boost. you can prep this dressing days in advance & use it on all your favourite salads! if you are looking for a vegan dish, simply omit the goat cheese & substitute maple syrup for the honey. easy as that! for a healthy weeknight meal, serve with grilled chicken.

NOTE: to perfectly cook the quinoa follow these directions: rinse the grain in cold water & transfer to a pot. add two cups of cold water & a teaspoon of salt. bring water to a boil, cover pot with lid & reduce heat to a simmer. cook for 15 minutes. fluff quinoa with a fork & cover for an additional 15 minutes. let cool to room temperature. if you want to add a little more flavour to the grains, try cooking the quinoa in a low sodium vegetable or chicken stock instead of water.


for the salad

  • 1 cup bob's red mill organic quinoa grain, cooked & cooled
  • 3 cups heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, quartered & thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup goat cheese crumbles, plus more to garnish
  • apple cider dressing (see recipe below)

for the dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon quality honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste


for the salad

  • in a large mixing bowl toss together the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, goat cheese & dressing until well combined. season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • garnish with additional goat cheese & green onions. if preparing in advance, dress salad just before serving!

for the dressing

  • in a small mixing bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, dijon & garlic until well combined.
  • season with salt & pepper. set aside until ready to use.