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May 4, 2013

Rainbow Quinoa and English Pea Salad

by Anne Paddock

For decades, my husband has been bringing me home recipes (from Outdoor Alpha Male, Men’s Protein World or some similar sounding magazine) that invariably include quinoa which was hard to find years ago. Back then, I could only find quinoa in a health food store or on-line but with its recent surge in popularity – due in part to its high protein and iron content – nearly every supermarket now carries various types of quinoa. My family prefers the Rainbow Quinoa which contains three types of quinoa: white, royal red, and royal black because they enjoy the slight difference in flavors and the various colors certainly make a dish look appetizing.

Several weeks ago I came across a recipe for a Quinoa Blueberry Walnut and Garbanzo Salad from Eden Organics which looked really interesting. The recipe for Rainbow Quinoa and English Pea Salad is an adaptation that contains most of the same core ingredients in different amounts but omits the nuts, blueberries, and the salad dressing. My preference for a salad is to have little or no dressing; instead, I rely on herbs  (chives in this recipe) which keeps the salad light and the flavors bold. The dried cranberries are essential as they add just the slightest sweetness to every bite.

DSC_0316Easy to make, the Rainbow Quinoa and English Pea Salad is a great side dish for dinner or a lovely lunch dish on a bed of spinach.


1 cup Rainbow Quinoa (available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Fresh Market and most grocery stores)
2 cups water
Dash salt
1 16 ounce can Garbanzo Beans or Chick Peas (I use Eden)
10 ounces fresh English Peas (available at Trader Joe’s and most supermarkets)
4 ounces dried cranberries (I use Eden Organic which contain no nitrates)
1/8 cup of finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup of fresh chopped green chives
Salt and Pepper


  • Place 2 cups of water, quinoa, and a dash of salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir. Reduce the heat to low and cover for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  • Blanch the English Peas for 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Thoroughly rinse the garbanzo beans and place in the same mixing bowl as the English Peas.
  • Add the cooked quinoa to the peas and beans and blend gently with a large spoon.
  • Stir in the finely chopped red onion and cranberries.
  • Add the fresh chopped green chives.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve at room temperature. Serves 6-8.

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