Could we get more refreshing?!


I saw the inspiration for this on another blog and had to make it.  All the flavors sounded so beautiful together, and they are!

This is a light, summery salad, full of good-for-you carbs and protein from the quinoa.  With a slightly spicy dressing and undertones of fresh mint…what’s not to love?   Serve it with a moist chicken breast or some deli-turkey slices for a very filling lunch.

(Don’t let the carb count of this scare you.  Quinoa is something that doesn’t seem to cause cravings.  I am a carb-craver to the CORE, and have never had a problem with quinoa.)




2 cups cooked quinoa (directions below)

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

2/3 cup diced grapefruit (see what I used below…reserve juice)

2 green onions (scallions) sliced – green parts only

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar (OR 1 tablespoon honey)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar – regular flavor

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt – or to taste


In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cucumber, grapefruit, green onions, almonds, and mint.  Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, grapefruit juice, agave, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, pepper, and salt.  Pour over salad and mix well.

I loved it as soon as it was made, but it only got more intense and yummy after it was chilled!

Makes approx. six  1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 211; Protein 5 g; Fat 10 g; NET Carbs 20 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 7 g; Sodium 59 mg


Cooking Quinoa:  It cooks like long-grain rice…very easy.  For this salad I cooked it in salted water, but using chicken, beef, or vegetable broth works great, too.  I’ve also done it with half water, half coconut milk for a breakfast cereal-version.

Bring 1 cup water and a little less than 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa.  (Rinse in a fine mesh sieve making sure the water runs clear.  Most on the market – even the bulk stuff – is very clean already.)

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the white ‘tail’ or ‘ring’ can be seen on each seed.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool to room temp for this salad.  Or cool, cover and chill for later use.  It should stay nice and fluffy.


I love the Dole red grapefruit sections that come in the little cup.   They can be found in the produce section, usually by the bagged salads or chilled dressings.  I used all of the grapefruit and 2 tablespoons of the juice for this recipe.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. yum that looks good. I’ve never tried QUINOA before.

  2. This looks so great. I can’t eat grapefruit (prescription med interaction) so wonder what it would be like with oranges instead.

    1. Linda says:

      I think it would be great! Mandarins, especially would be very easy. Then use a little orange juice from a carton or fresh squeezed for the dressing.

  3. caro says:

    Linda, this sounds great! Cannot wait to try it. I’ll save my days worth of carbs for it!

  4. Tom says:

    Great recipe, so tasty!…but sad to see convenience packaged produce being promoted 😦 … real produce with no extra packaging rocks every time!

  5. This certainly would be refreshing! Great way to enjoy some quinoa!

  6. T2Nashville says:

    Linda – I made this last night, and it rocks the house! I don’t even like grapefruit, and it’s fantastic. I will definitely try the mandarin / orange juice version, too. I could turn the dressing up and drink it! It’s just that tasty.

    And yes, if I could afford “real produce,” that would be better, but I appreciate tips and tricks for those of us who want the taste, but can’t afford the pleasure. 🙂

    Quinoa is such a great find! I made it recently as the “pasta” for my beef stroganoff. So very good and packs an extra protein punch!

    1. Linda says:

      Thanks for the great review, Tammy…this is one of my favorites, hands down!

      Yeah…for me, I’m a SUPER RECYCLER and don’t have any qualms about using a product in packaging where the work has been done for me…especially de-membraning a grapefruit.

  7. Marci says:

    Well..I finally made this with the ‘pre-packaged’ mandarin oranges (and the juice too!) and all I can say is IT ROCKS 🙂 Thanks Linda…you are so awesomely talented!! Love ya!!!

  8. gordolamb says:

    Sorry for the double comment but I’m soo excited to try this. I love Quinoa and I rarely find recipes for it that get me excited. i also have a mint plant that is just waiting to be used for something! thanks for the great recipe idea

  9. beccay10 says:

    I made this salad just now to take to a friend’s house for lunch later. It is really yummy! I had one whole grapefruit and that didn’t yield nearly as much fruit as the recipe called for (I doubled it), so I added a nectarine that I had too. I would have went for Mandarin oranges if I would have had them, but the nectarine worked just great too. I love the dressing, I would use it on other things.

    1. Linda says:

      Never thought of using nectarines or peaches in this…good to know!

  10. diana76x says:

    fantastic recipe, so refreshing, grat for summer and weight control

  11. Denise says:

    This looks so so good. I am not allowed to eat grapefruit. Is there another fruit I could use that would taste just as good?
    Love love love your site!

  12. allyssa says:

    i just made this salad and it’s delicious! i hope you don’t mind if i repost this on my blog. I’ll link it back to your blog ofcourse. thanks for the great recipe

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