Recipe: Brain Boosting Quinoa Salad

I absolutely love this recipe! If the name isn’t obvious enough – it truly is such a brain boosting power house type of dish!

What makes it so brain boosting, you might ask?

Well from the amino acid rich quinoa, to the anti-oxidant loaded fresh herbs, the incredible healthy fats from the olive oil dressing and the olives, to the fact that it’s loaded with all sorts of other fresh veg that have tons of brain supporting nutrients – it really covers all the bases to give our brains what they need to thrive.

It tastes so incredibly fresh and delicious – you won’t believe it! I like to think of this dish as seasonal for when all the fresh tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, and herbs are in full bloom (typically August to early October in the PNW) – however it can be great for any season as it’s a perfect balance of refresh yet grounding.

I recommend serving this dish with a protein of choice. Some ideas include; grilled chicken breast, grilled tofu, ground bison, or oven baked wild salmon or wild cod filet.

It’s a great dish to have on hand for quick lunches or dinners – so don’t be afraid to have leftovers 🙂 I know you’re going to love it A LOT (and so will your brain).


For the Salad:
– 1 cup quinoa
– 3 cups romaine lettuce (chopped finely)
– 1 bunch parsley (de-stemmed and finely chopped)
– 1 bunch dill (de-stemmed and finely chopped – if posisble, add in dill flowers for an extra garnish)
– 1 medium orange bell pepper (finely diced)
– 1/2 a cucumber (quartered and finely chopped)
– 1 large tomato (preferably heirloom – diced)
– 10 olives, de-pitted and chopped
– 1/4 cup capers (liquid drained)
– Optional: 1/2 cup red onion (finely chopped)
– 1/3 cup goat or sheep milk feta

For the Dressing:
– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 1 Tbsp. mustard
– 1/4 tsp sea salt
– 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
– 1/4 tsp oregano
– 1 Tbsp. lemon juices
– 1 Tbsp. honey


– Cook quinoa according to package directions (I typically do 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water, bring to a boil, then place lid on and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat then allow to sit for 10 minutes with the lid on)
– Prepare all the veggies (lettuce, tomato, pepper, cucumber, onion, etc,) by chopping into small bite sized pieces. Do your best to chop the veggies finely for a more delicate flavour/ texture
– Once all the veggies are prepared, make your dressing by combining all ingredients into a small jar and mixing until well combined. Give a little taste test and adjust as needed. You might need a touch more sea salt or honey – depending if you prefer things more sweet or savoury
– Once the quinoa is finished cooking and has sat with the lid on for 10 minutes, remove the lid, and place into a large serving bowl. Allow to cool. I like to serve mine at about room temp. Placing in the fridge for a few minutes helps!
– Now assemble the salad by adding all the veg to the cooled quinoa, followed by the dressing, stirring throughout
– Top with the olives, capers, and goat/ sheep feta. If you have some dill flowers, place those on top too!
– Optional serving idea: serve with a grilled chicken breast, grilled tofu, ground bison, or a baked wild salmon or cod filet for a perfectly balanced meal.

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