Quinoa is one of my favorite pantry staples!  It cooks in about 20 minutes, and it is super versatile.  When people say they don’t have time to cook healthy food, I always suggest quinoa.  I like to make a large batch to have on hand for putting together quick, last-minute meals.  Quinoa is a complete protein and is gluten-free, so it’s a great staple to get in your regular rotation!

I made this easy recipe as a side dish on the 4th of July.  I happened to have everything on hand (even fresh dill from my garden!) You could also use brown rice, but quinoa won out because it cooks so quickly.  The recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, and she used brown rice.

Make this recipe as a side dish with dinner, and you’ll have plenty for lunch the next day!  It’s great served warm or at room temp.


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved OR 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Add quinoa, 2 cups of water and a pinch of sea salt to a pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Whisk together oil, vinegar, dill, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Pour dressing over quinoa and stir to combine.
  • Mix in spinach, tomatoes and cucumber.

I didn’t get a great picture of this. . .taking a picture was a last-minute thought!

Spinach-tomato Quinoa