Day 22 – Recipe: M Café’s Scarlet Quinoa Salad


After I found M Café’s Kale Salad recipe, I wanted to see if I could find any of their other recipes online. To my surprise I found quite a few! Their Scarlet Quinoa Salad is another one of my favorites. I remember trying to copy it years ago and it didn’t turn out anything like the real thing. This time, it was perfect! And thankfully it didn’t take as long to make as the Kale Salad, it was pretty quick and easy.

The pink color comes from cooking the quinoa with diced beets. Above I served it with Umeboshi Radishes (I’ll have that recipe tomorrow), the flavor went perfectly with the Umeboshi-lemon dressing on the salad. I found the recipe on the LA Times website.

M Café’s Scarlet Quinoa Salad

Umeboshi-Lemon Dressing

  • 2 teaspoons umeboshi (ume plum) vinegar (I used Eden Foods brand)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 1 Tablespoon best-quality olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, pickle juice and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes one-fourth cup dressing.

Scarlet Quinoa Salad and Assembly

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red beets
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup diced seedless or Persian cucumber
  • 2 teaspoons chopped scallions or chives
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • Umeboshi-lemon dressing
  • Sea Salt

1. Wash the quinoa under cold running water in a fine strainer. Drain well.

2. In a 2-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the beets, vegetable broth, olive oil and lemon juice. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the quinoa, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook the quinoa until the grains are translucent and tender and the germ has spiraled out from the grain, about 15 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Turn off burner and keep the pot on hot burner for 10 more minutes to finish cooking.

3. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the grains, uncovered, until cool.

4. Fluff the cooled grains and place them in a large bowl. Gently stir in the cucumber, scallions, dill and lemon zest. Stir in half of the dressing, then taste the salad and add additional dressing or salt as desired.

Serves 8 as a side dish.

Fluffed Quinoa:


Cooling Quinoa:


Chopped cucumber, scallions, dill and lemon zest:


Finished Salad:


I ended using all of the finished dressing on the salad.

You don’t have to use a baking sheet to cool the quinoa, but I found that using one cooled it much faster than if I had just left it in the pot.

Eat cold or room temperature and enjoy!!



One thought on “Day 22 – Recipe: M Café’s Scarlet Quinoa Salad

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