Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Herbs, Nuts, and Seeds

This was one of the many salads I made for Christmas Dinner last year. It’s a cross between a few different recipes, mostly from Green Kitchen Stories, one of my favourite vegetarian blogs and the authors of several of my very favourite vegetarian cookbooks. The authors have a real gift for making refreshing, colourful and exciting salads, and generally I just make their recipes precisely as described because they don’t get things wrong.

The only reason I messed with this one was that we already had salads with zucchini and eggplant on the table, and also my brother had requested a salad with pumpkin seeds, and also we had a fair bit of rice and other carbohydrates going on, so we didn’t really need quite so much grain here, and I hate using a grill pan because the washing up is ugly, and if you are going to roast things you need to add some flavours at the start.

So I think this is my recipe now. And it’s a very yummy one. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be this good.

This makes a LOT of quinoa salad. I’ve reduced the recipe from the original epic amounts, and suspect it now feeds four as a main meal. If it feeds more than that, I can assure you that the leftovers are great the next day and even two days later (did I mention that this makes a LOT of quinoa salad?).

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1 cauliflower (white is fine, but I found small purple ones and tiny golden ones and couldn’t resist.
olive oil,
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 tsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
75 g flaked almonds
75 g pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raisins (well-packed and heaped)
1 pomegranate
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 bunch of mint, chopped
1 bunch of coriander, chopped
2 avocados, sliced

Now what will you do with it?

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the cauliflower into florets, and spread out on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and salt. Toss, and roast for around 15-20 minutes, or until tender but not too browned.

Meanwhile, put the quinoa in a saucepan with the rest of the cinnamon and the water. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the quinoa has started uncurling and has absorbed most or all of the water. Drain if needed, and put into a large salad bowl with the roasted cauliflower.

Toast the almonds and pumpkin seeds in a dry saucepan over low heat, and add to the quinoa with the raisins.

De-seed the pomegranate (good luck with that).  If you are serving this salad immediately, add all the other ingredients immediately, then toss. 

If you are planning to serve it later, stir in the garlic, olive oil, and juice of 1 lemon and refrigerate. Store the pomegranate seeds in water overnight.  When ready to serve, add the herbs, pomegranate, avocado, and the juice of the second lemon.

Toss, and eat. It’s delicious.


This is gluten-free, vegan, and if you leave out the raisins, I think you’re in a pretty good place in terms of fructose and FODMAPs. You can swap out the almonds for more pumpkin seeds, or for sunflower seeds, or just leave them out entirely if you can’t eat nuts.

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