Simple Quinoa Salad (gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, low-amine)

Simple Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Chutney. Served with Garlic broiled Brussels sprouts and Chicken Drumsticks. (photo)

Simple Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Chutney. Served with Garlic broiled Brussels sprouts and Chicken Drumsticks marinated in pear, sage, and ginger.

I did a more complex quinoa salad last week, but I wanted an easy low-amine side dish for tonight that resembled tabouleh, so put this easy mix of low-amine ingredients together and served it with low-amine cilantro chutney. It went perfectly with the baked chicken (marinated in pear, ginger, and sage) and garlic broiled Brussels sprouts. It was a simple, tasty meal that’s hard to get wrong!

1 C dried quinoa

2 C water

1/2 C minced parsley

1 C English cucumber, quartered and sliced thinly

1 small unripe avocado, diced (optional. Note: Unripe = high amine. Ripe = very high amine)

1 tsp ascorbic acid

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp safflower oil

*You can also add in vegetables such as green onion, thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, radishes, or celery

  • Rinse quinoa well, as it is a saponin (naturally a bit soapy). Not rinsing means bitter quinoa, and possible allergic reactions in some people. Drain carefully.
  • Add water and cook (in a rice cooker is preferred, as it is the easiest and most reliable method).
  • Chop cucumber and parsley.
  • Add cooked quinoa, parsley, cucumber, salt, garlic powder, ascorbic acid, and safflower oil to a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly to ensure even dispersion of oil, salt, and ascorbic acid. Add diced avocado and gently mix together.
  • Serve with a large dollop of low-amine cilantro chutney on top.
Very Low Amine: quinoa, water, parsley, cucumber, ascorbic acid, salt, garlic powder
Low Amine: safflower oil
High Amine: unripe avocado

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad (gluten-free, soy-free, low-amine, vegetarian) photo

Quinoa Salad (gluten-free, soy-free, low-amine, vegetarian)

This filling, high-protein quinoa and grain salad is low-amine and gluten-free. The softness of the grains and avocado are well complimented by the sliver-thin crisp vegetables on top. Stacked high, this dish is visually appealing as well as flavorful.

1 C Quinoa, cooked (1/2 C quinoa, dry, cooked with 1 C water)

1/2 C rice, cooked (brown, black or wild rice add a nice color and texture, if available)

1/2 C cooked beans

1 small avocado

2 Green onion, thinly sliced

1 rib celery

3″ hot house cucumber, halved

10 small radishes

1/3 C feta

black pepper to taste

Marinade for sliced vegetables:

1/2 tsp ascorbic acid

1 tsp tart cranberry juice

1 Tbsp water

1/4 tsp molasses

1/2 tsp sugar

2 sprigs dill, minced

Pureed Sauce for Grains:

3 sprigs cilantro

3 sprigs parsley

4 sprigs dill

1 large cloves garlic

3 Tbsp safflower oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp ascorbic acid

3 Tbsp water

  • Wash and trim celery, radishes, and cucumber.
  • Using a mandoline, slice them very thin into a bowl.
  • In a ramekin, mix all Marinade ingredients together until sugar and ascorbic acid dissolves completely. Toss in with sliced vegetables.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together quinoa, rice, and beans. Toss until well mixed.
Grains bowl, and marinated vegetables bowl for quinoa salad (photo)

Grains bowl, and marinated vegetables bowl for quinoa salad

  • Dice avocado and add to the grains.
  • In a food processor, mix all Sauce ingredients together. Puree until very smooth.
  • Pour sauce into grains and mix gently. Avoid smashing the avocado.
  • Plate, with grains as the base ingredient, and a tall stack of the marinated vegetables on top.
  • Crumble feta on top, and crack a small amount of black pepper at the highest point.


Very Low Amine: quinoa, rice, beans, green onion, water, celery, cucumber, radish, ascorbic acid, dill, parsley, cilantro, salt, black pepper

Low Amine: molasses, sugar, safflower oil, feta cheese

High Amine: cranberry juice

Very High Amine: avocado

Nectarine Ginger Quinoa

zesty cod with nectarine ginger quinoa and apricot puree

Zesty cod with nectarine ginger quinoa and apricot puree

I went camping this last weekend and brought fish to cook and nectarines to eat. But I didn’t end up getting to either. The prospect of salmonella with my nectarines sounded a little less than appetizing, so I decided to cook them into a nectarine and rice dish. But quinoa was already in the fridge. I roll with the punches. Let’s do this. Nectarine Ginger Quinoa, why not? Glad I did – it was delicious!

2 unripe or barely ripe nectarines

2 C cooked quinoa, cold

4 Tbsp fresh minced ginger

1/2 tsp ascorbic acid

2 Tbsp safflower oil

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (high in amines and spicy – alter for taste and amine tolerance)

Nectarines and ginger cooking

Nectarines and ginger cooking

  • Turn burner to low/medium and add oil and minced ginger.
  • Saute until fragrant, about two minutes.
  • Add nectarines and cayenne pepper and gently cook (you don’t want them to mash into nectarine slop) for about 5 minutes on medium low heat.
  • Add lime juice and quinoa.
  • Stir together and cook. I turn up the heat a little bit and let it blacken some bits of the nectarine and quinoa, but that is a personal preference. It isn’t necessary. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until quinoa is hot all the way through.
  • Serve.
Very Low Amine:  quinoa, ginger, ascorbic acid
Low Amine: safflower oil
Very High Amine: cayenne pepper, nectarine  (low in tyramine, high in histamine)