Bring Your Own Sunshine Quinoa Salad for Fleur

BYOSquinoaWhen I was nineteen, I moved out of my parents’ house to live in an apartment in Amsterdam. It was a big step for me, since I actually had not planned to move at all, until a friend of my mom asked me if I was interested in living in her daughter’s apartment, because she was leaving Amsterdam. It is hard to get an apartment in Amsterdam, so this was an opportunity I had to take. I shared it with another girl named Fleur. We already knew each other from birthday parties and we had a click.

I was glad that Fleur had already lived by herself for a few years, so she knew how to cook. I, on the other hand, was as green as grass. At my parents’ I sometimes had to cook, but only when they were not at home (and writing this down I understand why I never had to cook when they were at home). I knew how to bake an egg and how to cook spaghetti, but apart from that I was a culinary idiot. In the two years we lived together we did not have dinner together everyday, but I learned a lot from her cooking skills. She made a great kind of hearty pie, some delicious pasta’s and we both had a love for gorgonzola mascarpone cheese.

After two years I moved out of that apartment and moved in with my boyfriend, but we kept in touch and about twice a year we have dinner together. Every time we do, it is like we have seen each other yesterday and I really cherish that.

A week ago Fleur sent me a message in which she requested a recipe for a quinoa salad, because she always orders it when she eats at a restaurant, but never makes one herself. I love quinoa as well, because it has such a nice nutty flavor and is a great alternative for couscous. Since I am looking forward to some sunshine, and I think Fleur would like some as well, I added some to this recipe.

So I made this Bring Your Own Sunshine Quinoa Salad especially for Fleur:

BYOSquinoa5For 2 roommates you will need:

  • 1 fennel
  • 1 small yellow zucchini
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cook/steamed yellow beetroot (optional)
  • A hand of walnuts
  • A hand of raisins
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • A pinch of pepper and salt
  1. It takes about 45 minutes to cook/steam the beet, you need to have time for that, but it add more sunrays to your salad
  2. Add the water and quinoa to a pan, let it cook and then simmer until the water is fully absorbed by the quinoa for about 12 minutes
  3. Finely slice the fennel, zucchini and apple. I used my food processor because I am a lazy cook, but feel free to act like a kitchen ninja.
  4. Mix the tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cumin powder, pepper and salt until you have a nice dressing. When it is to thick; add some water or extra vinegar (depends on how it tastes, so put your finger in it and try it)
  5. Add the quinoa to the sliced goods and pour over the dressing, use your hands or a spoon to mix it all together, and then sprinkle the walnuts and raisins over the salad
  6. Feel the sunshine and enjoy!


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