Colorful Cruciferous Quinoa (vegan, gluten free)

Colorful Cruciferous Quinoa (vegan, gluten free) ~ this pretty salad brings a little vibrant crunch to the cooler months when you might be tempted to forget all about healthy salads.

Quinoa Salad 1

I love it when a trip to Sunday’s farmer’s market inspires a Minimal Monday. Look what I found, little bitty purple Brussels sprouts, and right next to them was this vivid green cauliflower.

It took me a while to decide what to do with them. I didn’t want to roast them, or make a gratin. Been there, done that. And besides, I don’t want to disguise those flamboyant colors in any way.

I wasn’t in the mood for anything heavy so I decided to go raw. After all, Brussels sprouts are just little cabbages, and cabbage is often eaten raw in salads and slaw. So I sliced them in half, broke the cauliflower into tiny florets, added some orange bell pepper for color, some scallions for an onion-y bite, a little bit of shredded kale, and fresh dill.

Quinoa Salad Closeup

I could have used any grain for the base of my salad —  rice, couscous, orzo, bulgar, etc, all would work, but I decided on quinoa because I love how light and fluffy it is. It doesn’t overpower, and it never gets soggy, even over night in the fridge. Some salt, fresh black pepper, and that beautiful Lemon Vinaigrette from last week pulled the whole thing together.

If  you’re like me and you need to be coaxed into eating salads in colder weather, this is a great recipe to try.

colorful cruciferous quinoa in a green bowl
3 from 2 votes

Minimal Monday: Colorful Cruciferous Quinoa (vegan, gluten free)

Colorful Cruciferous Quinoa (vegan, gluten free) ~ this pretty salad brings a little vibrant crunch to the cooler months when you might be tempted to forget all about healthy salads.
Course lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 cups leftover or cooked and cooled quinoa follow the package instructions
  • 1 cup thinly sliced purple Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup green cauliflower separated into very small florets
  • 1 orange bell pepper chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 large handful of kale leaves very thinly sliced
  • a large handful of dill chopped
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

lemon vinaigrette

  • 1 clove garlic crushed or finely minced
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  • Toss the quinoa together with all the vegetables.
  • For the dressing, mix the ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar, and whisk or shake until combined. Pour over the salad and toss well.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    January 15, 2013 at 10:50 am

    don’t tell me you were at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Sunday because The Viking and I were there too and i’ll just scream!!!… now home in snowy London and dreaming of that glorious sunshine… your sprouts and salad are just what I need now… xx

  • Reply
    January 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    These are SO SO SO pretty! I’ve seen the green cauli before but never purple brussels! You did good with this salad to really showcase the rainbow of colors!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I’ve never seen purple brussels sprouts before! So exciting. 🙂 And man, is it cold (for NorCal) here too–it was 37F this morning! I’ve been wearing a real coat and hat and everything.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    January 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Never considered putting brussels in a salad, what a good idea, especially when they are such great colours.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    January 14, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    oh it is definitely colorful and I love the cauliflower! These pics deserve to be in a food mag

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    January 15, 2013 at 3:39 am

    LOVE! raw brussels sprouts are pretty great, right? I’ve done a shredded sprout thing with a little lemon and yogurt for dressing..fantastic. and perfect for right now when we’re all trying to food-recover.

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    January 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Love Quinoa..this looks soo soo good!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    January 14, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    It’s dang chilly here in San Diego, I mean, for San Diego! I am loving the lemon theme here and that Lemon Vinaigrette looks fabulous. I should make salads, not desserts, with my lemons 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephen Andrew
    January 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    That is gorgeous! I can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    the gardener's cottage
    January 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    oh this is beautiful in every aspect sue. i’m dying to try that lemon dressing too.

    they said it was colder this morning here in redlands than it was in anchorage alaska today.


  • Reply
    January 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    That’s a glorious looking plate of food, I’ve never seen sprouts like that before.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    January 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Oohh so pretty! I’ve never seen those Brussel’s Sprouts before. Lovely. I bet the tangy lemon dressing was perfect.

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