Recipe: Quinoa, avocado and roasted pepper salad

March 24th 2014

Quinoa salad

I’ve been trying to cut down on wheat lately: I don’t think gluten agrees with me very well, especially in the quantities I tended to eat it. As a veggie, it’s all too easy to make it the staple of every meal: toast for breakfast, pitta for lunch, pasta for dinner… which led to me feeling pretty bloated and sluggish a lot of the time and wondering if it was down to diet. I haven’t gone completely cold turkey on wheat but I have been making some switches which aren’t too painful and do seem to be making a difference. In fact when I had a fairly wheaty binge at the weekend I felt awful on Monday, which is good encouragement to keep at it.

Quinoa salad

So I’ve been enjoying porridge for breakfast (and not even missing my beloved toast!), lots of Mexican and Indian inspired dinners (corn, bean and rice-based meals are my new friends) and making lunches from scratch when I have the time on work at home days. My favourite easy lunch fallbacks are things like soup, avocado on GF toast or a hummus wrap in a corn tortilla, but when I have a bit more time I’ve been raiding the veg drawer and putting something more interesting together.

Quinoa salad

This is actually the first time I’ve ever cooked with quinoa – it’s a grainlike little seed that resembles bulgur or cous cous, but it’s actually gluten-free and high in protein rather than starchy carb. I never bought it before because it’s quite expensive and I thought it’d be fiddly to prepare, but I do think it’s worth the price as it’s so healthy and very quick and easy to make up.

Quinoa salad
Quinoa salad

I put together this dish based on most of my favourite flavours: avocado, tomato, pine nut, sweet romano pepper – charred to give a bit of smokiness – and plenty of lemon juice and hot sauce. Delicious as well as vegan and GF, oh so saintly! You could add all sorts of other things depending on what you have: blanched green beans, feta cheese or sweetcorn would all be tasty additions.


I’ve been saving more GF (and non-GF) veggie food ideas on my Pinterest board. Do you have any favourites to share?

Comments (10)

  • Jess

    March 24th 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Looks tasty. I too am trying to eat less wheaty things after realising it seems to make me feel bloated and bleugh. Have recently discovered a nice little cafĂ© in Brixton Village that sells pretty good WAGfree cakes (I’m pretty slow on the uptake so it took me a while to figure out what WAG meant… nothing to do with footballers then).

  • Veronika

    March 24th 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I also don’t buy quinoa too often because of the higher price. Love it though! It’s very versatile and extremely healthy :)

  • Anne

    March 24th 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Ooh yum! In summer I love putting my peppers on the BBQ, but I’ve never actually thought of putting them on the hob like that, thanks for the tip! xxx

  • Olivia

    March 26th 2014 at 6:53 am

    looks delicious – am all set to make it for supper this evening :)

  • Sarahmia

    March 26th 2014 at 10:48 am

    I had this same issue and decided to go wheat free for the whole of 2014 in an effort to curb the “I know it’s bad for me but I really like pizza so I’ll just eat this one slice…” mentality that gets me into trouble!

    I started a food blog to document some of our favourite wheat free / dairy free / paleo etc recipes: – you might find something useful in there :)

    (Altho no quinoa, every time I cook it it just turns to mush! Ha)

  • Julia

    March 26th 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Mmmm that looks tasty! I really should give quinoa a go, it sounds easy, just is unfamiliar. I am also feeling the need to cut down on wheat as it doesn’t seem to agree with me anymore, I miss pasta but this could be a good alternative!

  • ainemosh

    March 26th 2014 at 6:04 pm

    That looks lush!

  • Joanna Bowden

    March 26th 2014 at 11:01 pm

    This looks delicious!

  • she

    March 27th 2014 at 4:07 am

    Although I prefer my quinoa a bit on the sweet side Although nice blackberries in mornings, this sounds absolutely delightful.

  • Ginger

    March 28th 2014 at 2:44 pm

    This looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to cut back on wheat lately, too. I eat way too much of it this time of year when vegetables aren’t very nice and there’s green at the farmer’s market yet. Looking forward to trying it!

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