Recipes (Simple as ABC): Quinoa / Couscous Salad

Do you know the differences between quinoa and couscous? Quinoa is a small seed from a weed-like plant, goosefoot. It is small, granular and slightly chewy and nutty texture when cooked. Couscous, on the other hand, is actually a pasta made from semolina flour, while whole-wheat ones are derived from whole grains of durum flour. Couscous is considered as the National Dish of Morocco! I am going to introduce to you a salad that could be made from either of these two nutrition-filled ingredients. Read on! :)


Couscous version of the salad

Cooking Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup (250 mL) of uncooked quinoa OR 1 cup (250 mL) of uncooked whole-wheat couscous [1 cup (250 mL) uncooked = 2 cups (500 mL) cooked]
  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large cucumber OR 4 small cucumbers, diced
  • 1 stalk of green onion, diced
  • 1/4 (60mL) cup of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • 1-2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice squeezed from half a lemon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Yields: 2-3 servings



  1. If you choose to use quinoa, rinse it in a sieve under cold running water. Drain and place in saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl; fluff with fork and let cool. Add tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and parsley.
  2. If you choose to use couscous, cover it in a bowl with 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) boiling water; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Toss in tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and parsley.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt and pepper; whisk in oil. Toss with salad. Serve at room temperature.


Optional: Any grilled chicken sliced up in small strips could be served on top of the salad. Choose your own flavour: honey garlic, paprika-based or barbecue.


Nutritional Benefits:


You have probably heard of a lot of rave about quinoa before. Its protein content is higher than most grains and it is also a complete protein source, which is very rare amongst plant products. Because of this unique protein content, prehistoric South Americans consumed it regularly. It is also high in fiber, minerals and B vitamins.

Whole-wheat Couscous

Whole-wheat couscous is derived from the whole grains of durum wheat, which is high in protein, contains low fat and is free from cholesterol! It is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps balance blood sugar levels and creates a full feeling in your stomach, helping maintain weight.


Do you have any other recipes for great, healthy salads? Let me know by COMMENTING below! I hope you enjoy this salad! :)

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has written 4 articles for Enabled Kids.

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