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25Sep, 23
Clean Food Love
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How to Cook Quinoa + BONUS Week ONE Challenge Approved Quinoa Salad

Have you tried cooking Quinoa in the past and found that you didn’t really like it?

You’re not alone! This is something I hear often. I’ve put some tips and tricks together to change this!

Quinoa is so incredibly great for us, and it’s a BIG part of our 30-Day Challenge program!

Quinoa is week ONE Approved and something I really encourage you to incorporate for life.

I often have a big container of cooked quinoa stashed in my fridge. It’s easy to prepare once you know how, adds protein and fiber to a tasty salad, and also makes a great addition to a soup or casserole!

It really is a versatile food that everyone would benefit from having on hand!

Rachel’s Tips to ADD MORE FLAVOR to your Quinoa:

Aside from rinsing beforehand, there are some additional ideas you can incorporate to increase the flavor of your quinoa:
✅Add a clove or two of garlic to the cooking process, or minced garlic
✅Use broth instead of water to cook your quinoa in
✅Add a bay leaf while cooking
✅Add fresh lemon juice and/or zest once finished cooking
✅Add fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, basil, or mint at the tail end of cooking
✅Add chopped fresh arugula or spinach during the last few minutes of cooking time
✅Add a teaspoon of olive oil that you love

You can make a quick Quinoa Salad after your quinoa is cooked and cooled.

I often do this during week ONE of our 30-Day Challenge program because all of these ingredients are Challenge Approved and this is so tasty!

Week ONE APPROVED Quinoa Salad:

  • 4 cups cooked and cooled Quinoa

  • 2 cups small diced fresh tomatoes with most of their juices

  • 2 cups small diced crisp cucumbers

  • 1 small red onion, diced small

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley or other fresh herbs, minced

  • 1 large fresh lemon, juice and zest

  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Gently toss ingredients together, taste test and adjust to your preferences.

This recipe is very adjustable and can be made to your own desired outcome.

Stays good in the fridge for 5 days, so this is excellent for meal prep.

💡It wasn’t that long ago that quinoa was an exotic grain that most of us hadn’t heard of!

Now it’s a healthy “superfood” staple that a lot of people keep in their kitchens.

Quinoa contains several important minerals – including magnesium, iron, and zinc – and it may help lower blood sugar levels.

It’s also a good source of fiber and antioxidants.

Even though it’s considered a grain, it’s not really a grain (it’s a seed) – and that means it doesn’t seem to bother most people who are sensitive to gluten.

✅I’ve got a quinoa tip for you!

If you’ve tried quinoa in the past and thought it tasted bitter, it was probably because it was still coated with saponins, a chemical produced by the plant to protect itself when it’s growing.

Make sure you rinse the quinoa before you cook it! I know this can be a little tricky because the seeds are so small … but I have a trick for you:

THE TRICK: Place the tiny seeds in a coffee filter, and then put the filter in a sieve or colander before you rinse.
Do you have quinoa in your pantry?





ANY broth works GREAT to cook your quinoa! Use vegetable broth, chicken, or beef bone broth to increase the protein and nutrients.

🌱Homemade Instant Pot Vegetable Broth

🍗Homemade Chicken Bone Broth Recipe

🍖Homemade Roasted Beef Bone Broth

To store your cooked quinoa:
Cooked quinoa should be refrigerated in an airtight container to keep out moisture and contamination.

It can last for five days in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer.
Here are some of our FAVORITE Quinoa Recipes for you to try:

Black Bean Quinoa Chopped Salad for Light and Fresh Clean Eats!

Quinoa + Olive Herbed Salad

Turkey Quinoa Taco Bake

Quinoa Chopped Salad

Nectarine Quinoa Tabbouleh

Mango Quinoa Chopped Salad

Spicy Chipotle Quinoa

Servings 4


  • 1 part uncooked quinoa (example: 1 cup dry quinoa)

  • 2 parts water or broth (example: 2 cups water/broth)

  • sea salt, to taste (around ¼ teaspoon salt per cup of dry quinoa)


Place your dry/uncooked quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse really well under running water for about 30 seconds or so.

Transfer your rinsed quinoa to a pot and add the water/broth, and sea salt.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered until your quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, about 15 minutes.

Turn the heat off, cover the saucepan, remove from the heat, and allow your quinoa to steam/rest in the covered pot for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and fluff your quinoa with a fork.

Add any additional items from my suggestions above to make your quinoa suited to your personal taste.

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