Substituting Pasta with a Quinoa Salad

A few weeks ago, I was at The Loft in Edmonds and had the quinoa salad for lunch. I had never eaten quinoa that had been fried before. The whole salad was very tasty and it’s been on my mind ever since and I knew I had to try and replicate it. Quinoa is also a good substitute for a gluten-based pasta and actually has protein in it. This is another reason I wanted to try and duplicate the salad I ate at The Loft.

I couldn’t remember exactly what was in the salad, so I looked up similar recipes on the web, but none of them seemed to fry the quinoa. Looked like I was going to have to wing it.

The recipe below is what I came up with. Now that I found out some of the ingredients The Loft used (by looking at their menu), I plan to try it again, revising some ingredients. I will post the difference in the recipe when that happens.

Fried Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Sun-Dried Tomatoes


  • 1 pkg baby arugula
  • 1 small tin sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup red or white quinoa
  • Equivalent of two eggs using Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil to taste
  • 1/2 cup canned organic plum tomatoes (no added salt)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Boil water for quinoa and cook according to package directions. When ready, pour in bowl with juice of 1 lime, some cracked pepper and 1 tsp olive oil and the egg replacer. Peel avocados and slice into wedges, set aside.  In a blender, toss the plum tomatoes, rice vinegar, pepper, basil, onion, and garlic. Pulse till blended well. Add more oil or a bit of a water if too thick for your liking.

Place a small amount of baby arugula on your plate. Using a circular egg mold, placed it in a hot skillet with olive oil. Put 1/4 of the quinoa mixture in the center of the egg mold and brown for a few minutes. Remove mold and turn (if using a plastic egg turner, spray with Pam or something similar to prevent sticking); brown for a few minutes, then remove to plate on top of the arugula. Repeat 3 more times.

Spoon tomato herb salad dressing carefully on top of each circular quinoa mold. Place avocado and sun dried tomato in a nice pattern on top of quinoa and dressing.

Note: The Loft’s recipe uses cherry tomatoes, smoked paprika oil, and a balsamic reduction…can’t wait to experiment more!.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *