Roast Cauliflower & Quinoa Salad

  • Date October 27, 2013
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Cooking with Quinoa

This will be my first quinoa post on the site! I haven't cooked with quinoa much as every time I need a "rice like substitute", I easily trend towards cauliflower or cabbage. The problem was I really wanted to do a roasted cauliflower salad, so I couldn't exactly pair it with cauliflower rice. Therefore, quinoa made the cut! 

Of course, eye rolling here, I had to do some research on how to make quinoa stretch further and therefore reduce the calorie count. Its what I do! I enjoy finding out these tips and tricks. And here is what I discovered. 

Using traditional cooking method of 2:1 cooking ratio (ie, 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water), boiling water, reducing heat and cooking for 30 minutes,  you will produce a nice batch of quinoa for around 200 calories a cup. 

I found a method on the internet that recommended using a 4:1 cooking ratio and cooking longer. So I used 1 cup quinoa to 4 cups water, boiled water and simmered for 45-55 minutes. This produced more quinoa (due to more water absorption) and created a more mushy batch, for 150 calories a cup. 

End result? Stick to the original method. Sure, you can save calories, but quinoa was mushy and fat and a big sluggish. No thanks. And like karma, this means that I struggled to get a good picture of this recipe as my low calorie quinoa cooking method was punishing me. It still tasted amazing, so try to see past my quinoa karma in the pictures!

Roasted Cauliflower & Quinoa Salad


  • Cauilflower, one large head (4 cups per serving)
  • Shittake mushrooms (30 mushrooms) (1 cup cooked per serving)
  • Cherry tomatoes, (6 per serving)
  • Goat cheese, 2 tbls per serving
  • Quinoa, 1 cup cooked per serving
  • Balsmaic Glaze, to taste

Resulted in 3 large salads, around 450 calories per serving. 


  • Roast the cauliflower (you can follow the same instructions for the Cauliflower Popcorn)
  • Make the quinoa (according to instructions above)
  • Sautee the mushrooms and tomatoes on high heat  

Plating the meal:

  • Start with the quinoa
  • Then place the cauliflower
  • Then mushrooms, tomatoes
  • Top with goat cheese
  • Drizzle with balsamic glaze

Leftovers at work the next day!

Food for Thought:

  • Do you prefer quinoa or rice? 
  • Have you ever wondered how quinoa farmers made any money prior to the quinoa becoming a craze? Have more quinoa farms opened up since it became more popular? 
  • Do you have find quinoa expensive? Was it always this expensive? 

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