Tasty Table - Quinoa Salad

April 08, 2018

Tasty Table - Quinoa Salad

Good, nourishing food is never far from our minds at The Dharma Door. And there is nothing quite like sitting down at a pretty table to eat it with friends. This is Shannon's go-to salad at the moment. A recipe too good not to share ...

Quinoa, Kale & Pumpkin Salad with Lemon Thyme Chicken (optional)

I love this recipe because of it’s versatility – it doubles as dinner and lunch the next day; can be adapted to suit meat-lovers and our vegetarian friends; it's gluten-free; and can be dairy-free. And it’s super-healthy to boot! 

Most of all, I love that we grow some of the ingredients – kale, parsley, thyme, lemons – in our garden, so they are always on hand. My Mum (who lives on our property too) preserves buckets of lemons from our trees when they are in season, so I’m always looking for interesting ways to use them. She also makes the most delicious tangy marmalade with a sneaky splash of brandy – but that’s a story for another time!

1 cup tri-colour quinoa
300g pumpkin
5 or 6 leaves of kale
¼ cup pumpkin seeds (or more for extra crunch)
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 cup of torn parsley
Olive oil
Raw honey
Salt to taste
Lemon-infused olive oil
Soft feta cheese (optional)

500g chicken tenderloins
Preserved lemons
Fresh thyme sprigs

Serves 4


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Cook quinoa while working through the steps below. Rinse quinoa and place it in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes and resist the temptation to lift the lid and take a peek. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly. 
  3. If choosing to include chicken, tear long pieces of aluminium foil and baking paper and line a baking pan (foil on the bottom). Spread the chicken tenderloins on the baking paper. Cover with sprigs of thyme and thinly sliced preserved lemon. Completely wrap the tenderloins and place in the oven for 25 minutes. 
  4. Cut pumpkin into chunky pieces and coat with a mix of olive oil and warm honey. Lay a sheet of baking paper on a tray and spread the pumpkin pieces so they will cook evenly. Sprinkle with salt and cook until soft and slightly golden (approximately 25 minutes).
  5. Dry toast pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in a frypan until golden.
  6. Finely chop the kale and tear the parsley.
  7. If including chicken, remove from pan and slice into bite-sized pieces. 
  8. Place quinoa, chicken, pumpkin, kale and toasted seeds in a large salad bowl and toss until combined.
  9. Add the dried cranberries, torn parsley, crumbled feta cheese, a generous glug of lemon olive oil and gently toss.
  10. Serve warm with lemon wedges on the side. 
  11. Enjoy!

    When making the vegetarian option I’ll sometimes add toasted coconut flakes. These create a wonderful texture and a different flavour dimension.


    Photography: Kate Holmes @kateholmesphotographer

    Placemats and Coasters: The Dharma Door - find them in Homewares and Tabletop

    Ceramics: Nikau @nikau.store 

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