Quinoa, Puy Lentil and Halloumi Salad with Courgette

By Jacqueline Meldrum •

Who’s tried quinoa? This versatile super food is a complete protein, high in iron and magnesium, and a great source of calcium and fibre. It’s gluten free too. Food blogger Jacqueline (aka Tinned Tomatoes) shares why she loves it, along with a colourful recipe for a delicious salad.



I love quinoa for three reasons

  1. I like the way it sounds. Keen-wah!
  2. I love the nutty flavour, so much nicer then couscous.
  3. It’s a superfood, so it’s super good for you.

The Incas called it the Mother Grain, but it’s only recently that we’ve discovered its superpowers.


Here are a few quinoa factoids:

· It’s actually a seed.

· Unlike rice or wheat, quinoa is a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids.

· It’s high in dietary fibre, phosphorus, copper, zinc and iron.

· It contains Vitamins E and Vitamin B2.

· It’s high in magnesium and riboflavin (B2), which can help migraine sufferers.

· It contains Lysine which is especially important in tissue growth and repair.

· It’s low fat. One cup of cooked quinoa contains just 3.4g fat, 222 calories and 9g of protein.

· It contains 5 times more calcium than animal protein and 9 times more iron than that found in a single serving of meat.

· It’s a pro-biotic and feeds the good bacteria called ‘microflora’ in the intestines.

· It’s a good source of insoluble fibre, helping maintain colon health and preventing the formation of gallstones

· In its whole grain form, it is said to be effective in the prevention and treatment of arteriosclerosis, breast cancer, diabetes and insulin resistance

· Quinoa is gluten-free

I like to add it to salads, but I also grind it into a powder and add it to my toddler’s porridge and smoothies. My next venture with quinoa is to turn it into a burger. I do enjoy a homemade burger! Did you see my Green Lentil, Potato and Mushroom Burger ?

However today I have made you a salad. I mixed my cooked quinoa with puy lentils and dressed it in a zingy fresh herb dressing, then topped it with griddled slices of courgette and halloumi. A feast fit for a king or perhaps an Inca god!

Quinoa, Puy Lentil and Halloumi Salad with Courgette

Serves 4-6




185g quinoa (coloured or plain)

15 fl oz / ¾ pint vegetable stock (1 cube)

250g ready to eat puy lentils


3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 small handful mint

1 small handful basil

1 small handful coriander

a good grinding of black pepper


1 large courgette, sliced diagonally

250g halloumi


  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh sieve.
  2. Pour the quinoa into a pan with the hot stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then leave to sit for a few minutes.
  3. Fluff the quinoa up with a fork.
  4. Mix the quinoa with the puy lentils in a large bowl.
  5. Whizz together all the dressing ingredients and pour over the quinoa. Mix well.
  6. Dry fry the halloumi in a hot pan until golden on both sides.
  7. Brush the courgette slices with a little olive oil and cook on a hot griddle pan or in a George Foreman grill.
  8. Ladle the salad onto a large serving plate and top with slices of halloumi and courgette.
  9. Enjoy!


For an in-depth article on how to cook quinoa, visit Great British Chefs. Have you cooked quinoa? What dishes have you used it in?  Let us know here or over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.


Thanks. You should really try quinoa, it is so healthy and easy to cook. Has a lovely nuttiness to it too.
18 June 2013
What a beautiful dish and such a healthy array of treats too. I love halloumi and lentils but have yet to try Quinoa to might have to hunt it out the next time I'm out shopping;-)
15 June 2013

Jacqueline Meldrum

Jacqueline Meldrum is a food writer and recipe developer from bonnie Scotland. As well as creating easy veggie and vegan recipes for readers of her award winning blog Tinned Tomatoes, she also writes for BabyCentre UK and Readers Digest as well as developing recipes for top UK brands.

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