BLT-A Quinoa Salad

by Marla on July 18, 2011 · 113 comments

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Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes
A BLT is a great thing. Traditionally it is served between 2 pieces of bread. The same ingredients are delish in pasta too, as Vanderbilt Wife does in her BLC Pasta Salad. *Hi* Jessie, I am your Secret Recipe Club pal this month. Surprise! Your pasta looks awesome and I have changed it up a bit. Instead of pasta I am using gluten free quinoa and instead of cucumber I am using something else green….creamy avocado.

Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes

Jessie’s blog was my treat for the ever growing and  super fun Secret Recipe Club. This is a food blogger event in which we are given the name of a blog and we create a recipe based off something in their recipe box. Participants need to keep the info secret until the reveal day. Thanks to Amanda’s Cookin’ for hosting this event. Last month I made a gluten free Peach Sour Cream Walnut Cake.

This month I opted for savory….with a few sweets on the side. Blueberry juice makes a big sweet splash.

Blueberry juice with ice cubes in jar on bandanas

And juicy watermelon is always a hit!

Summer Picnic BBQ with fresh watermelon on blue bandana

The salad I am sharing is simple and is great for backyard entertaining or for meals out of the house. Pack it up in your mason jar and off you go. The jar is also a fun way to serve guests. This is a wonderful recipe for outdoor BBQ’s and picnics.

Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes

The quinoa grain has been super popular these days. Folks around the web are serving it up hot, cold and everywhere in between. It is a complete protein and is gluten free. It also comes in a lot of pretty colors. Remember my Wild Salmon with Basil Aioli Sauce? For that recipe I used black quinoa. The white grain used in this salad has a slightly more mild flavor.

You could use any color though. Quinoa even grows in a beautiful shade of red.

Bright summer tomatoes on Family Fresh Cooking blog

I can never get over how beautiful cherry tomatoes are. They come in so many vibrant shades or yellow, orange and red. They burst with flavor in the summer months.

Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes

To satisfy vegan friends you can leave out the feta cheese and use little soy bacon bits or veggie bacon.

Micro Greens over quinoa on white plates with cherry tomatoes

At the bottom of this post are the other participants in this club. You can also join us in the fun…the more the merrier! Adaptations and creativity are encouraged. This is a great way to get involved with our food blog community.

Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes

How do you like to prepare quinoa?

BLT-A Quinoa Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

BLT-A Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry Quinoa, prepare according to package directions
  • 4 ounces Bacon, diced (I used nitrate free turkey bacon, use your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
  • a handful of chopped Cilantro or Italian Parsley
  • 1/4 cup diced Green Onion
  • 1 Avocado, diced and toss with lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Avocado or Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • a few handfuls Micro Greens, Baby Spinach leaves or your favorite Lettuce
  • a few ounces of Feta Cheese

Method

  • Prepare quinoa, let it cool. Mix lemon juice, vinegar and oil with quinoa in a medium bowl. Add the bacon, tomatoes, cilantro and green onion and combine well. Season to taste with garlic salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice and vinegar if desired. Gently mix in the avocado. Plate the quinoa salad and top with mixed greens and some feta cheese before serving.
  • Notes
  • I toasted my quinoa with a splash of avocado oil first over medium high heat. This gives it a bit more flavor. Feel free to use black, white or red quinoa.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2011/07/18/bacon-lettuce-tomato-avocado-quinoa-salad-recipe/

Quinoa Salad Recipe Links

Secret Recipe Club July 2011



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{ 110 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa July 18, 2011 at 12:23 am

A fabulous salad! Very summery and so enjoyable.

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 18, 2011 at 1:33 am

Marla, I am about to do the final edit on my secret recipe club post…and hit publish!

You beat me to it. I was scared to publish early based on all those emails we got…haha!

Your photos are gorgeous, as usual. It makes me want to have a picnic, have watermelon (I just did actually), and have some of those great delicate lovely greens laying there.

YUM!

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3 Maris (In Good Taste) July 18, 2011 at 1:41 am

Pretty, vibrant and colorful salad.

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4 Sweet Artichoke July 18, 2011 at 2:43 am

What a pretty quinoa salad! I love your presentation in individual jars, perfect for picnics and really, super cute :-)

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5 Marla July 18, 2011 at 6:07 am

Sweet Artichoke – I am addicted to those jars. They are gonna be in many posts from here on out ;)

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6 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 18, 2011 at 3:16 am

p.s. I am trying to figure out what code and where to paste it to get the linkup thingey.

I tried inserting the code into my wordpress compose screen and that wasn’t working and I don’t know where else to insert it in the post.

It’s the little tech details like this that will drive me batty :)

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7 Marla July 18, 2011 at 6:07 am

Averie, you need to add the code to your html editor. When you preview the post you will not see anything. After you publish you will find the link up is attached. Confusing I know. Can’t wait to see what you have added to the SRC :)

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8 Nicole, RD July 18, 2011 at 3:24 am

I have a bunch of cherry tomatoes to use…and this looks perfect!! YUM!

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9 Jessica @ How Sweet July 18, 2011 at 3:33 am

This sounds like my kind of quinoa salad! Delish.

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10 Katrina July 18, 2011 at 3:38 am

This sounds fantastic Marla! Yum!

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11 Fallon July 18, 2011 at 3:53 am

Perfect dish for summer. I love quinoa!

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12 tami July 18, 2011 at 3:55 am

thanks for the link love. this quinoa looks pretty incredible – love the idea of the avocado & feta together!

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13 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) July 18, 2011 at 4:16 am

Mmm, I love cherry tomatoes – especially the multi colored packages you can grab. This sounds amazing, I’m all about salads in the summer (okay, I’m all about salads year-round!). And that blueberry juice sounds SO refreshing right now.

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14 Marla July 18, 2011 at 6:04 am

Liz, I too am a year round fan of fresh & light salads :)

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15 Winnie July 18, 2011 at 4:36 am

Love quinoa salads and this one look amazing!

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16 Heather (Heather's Dish) July 18, 2011 at 4:46 am

i’m in love with all the mini Ball jars! soooo adorable :)

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17 Sanjeeta kk July 18, 2011 at 5:13 am

Wow..how fresh an healthy all the ingredients look, Marla. I love the way you have presented and styled each click. Lovely to be in SRC with you.

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18 heather July 18, 2011 at 5:55 am

Beautiful! WIsh I could sit down at that table. Delicious!

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19 Cookin' Canuck July 18, 2011 at 6:20 am

What a tasty salad, Marla! You know how much I love quinoa, so this is right up my alley. Your styling and photos are simply stunning – I want to sit down at that picnic table.

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20 Marla July 18, 2011 at 6:44 am

Dara, you are more than welcome to join us anytime at all :)

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21 Jenny Flake July 18, 2011 at 6:24 am

Stunning! Loving the colors, the quinoa and healthfulness! Really beautiful :)

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22 MIkeVFMK July 18, 2011 at 6:39 am

Marla, this salad is fantastic. Fresh, healthy and, I’m sure, crazy delicious! Love the ingredients and avocado and quinoa makes everything a little bit better.

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23 Marla July 18, 2011 at 7:27 am

Mike, I agree. Avocado makes everything a whole lot better :) This would pair well with your Grilled Watermelon Salad.

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24 Erin @ Brownie Bites July 18, 2011 at 6:52 am

That looks so beautiful served in the mason jars like that. A perfect, festive summer treat!

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25 Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos July 18, 2011 at 6:56 am

This looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to make something with quinoa and I think this is what I’m going to try first. Yum! Your pictures are beautiful!

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26 Lauren at Keep It Sweet July 18, 2011 at 7:00 am

I love all of your picnic photos! This quinoa salad sounds amazing, what a fun way to use it- so different from the typical recipes!

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27 Marla July 18, 2011 at 7:25 am

Lauren, I had tons of fun coming up with this recipe. Glad you like it too!

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28 Faith July 18, 2011 at 7:03 am

Marla, your photos are so gorgeous with the sunlight dappling through! And this salad looks fantastic…quinoa really makes a delicious salad, especially paired with all those veggies!

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29 Marla July 18, 2011 at 7:25 am

Faith, these days I have moved all my photography outdoors. I always use natural light but I am in love with the deeper shadows and bright sunlight that peek in. Really sets the mood for the summer BBQ’s and picnics. glad you like this quinoa!

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30 amanda @ fake ginger July 18, 2011 at 7:06 am

I wish I could get my husband to eat quinoa because this looks fantastic! So fresh and delicious!

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31 Marla July 18, 2011 at 7:23 am

Amanda, even if he won’t….you must ;)

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32 Kate July 18, 2011 at 7:15 am

Love the colors! Just beautiful. I have never prepared quinoa but intend to do it. Your salad looks wonderful. Great SRC entry.

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33 Marla July 18, 2011 at 7:22 am

Thanks Kate! I had lots of fun with this one. The SRC is so fun. I love meeting new bloggers & browsing through their blogs and recipes.

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34 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective July 18, 2011 at 7:15 am

Wow, Marla. That is the best looking quinoa I’ve seen in a long time! We love the versatility of quinoa and use it often. The micro greens make this dish pop!

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35 Marla July 18, 2011 at 7:21 am

Sommer, we love those micro greens. They taste great & add so much to the presentation of a dish. Glad to hear you are also a fan of quinoa!

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36 Esi July 18, 2011 at 7:43 am

Gorgeous salad

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37 Bev Weidner July 18, 2011 at 8:00 am

Oh dear goodness I LOVE quinoa! Like, a lot.

This is what I did with black quinoa most recently. It’s so good you’ll lose your vision.

http://bevcooks.com/2011/07/indian-spiced-yellow-wax-beans-with-black-quinoa/

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38 Danielle July 18, 2011 at 8:54 am

The Secret Recipe Club looks like such a fun idea–I love your pictures and your twists on the original recipe; both look delicious!

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39 teresa July 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

That’s the HAPPIEST Quinoa Salad I ever did see!
Everything YOU make is HAPPY!
I have never heard of toasting the quinoa before cooking! GENIUS!
Love that blackberry juice too!
Blackberries are getting ready to POP on Bainbridge Island!
Printing this recipe…and PINNING of course!
I’m obsessed with PINNING your FOOD! ;o)
Sometimes I cook my quinoa in low~sodium chicken broth…or veggie broth.
Gives it a good kick of flavor.
We LOVE quinoa around here!
Makes my hub very happy!
You make me HAPPY!
ENJOY the day!
xo

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40 Liz July 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

What a gorgeous salad! I think I have some quinoa in my pantry just waiting for this recipe! Excellent selection for the SRC!

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41 Vanderbilt Wife July 18, 2011 at 11:02 am

What an honor to be the inspiraton behind this dish. It looks amazing. Avocado DOES make everything better … even chocolate cake (my secret recipe club post)!

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42 Kristy July 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

Great photos!! I’ve never tried quinoa, but I’m definitely going to! Your dish looks like it turned out great! Wish I could grab a fork and dig in :)

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43 Shelby July 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

What an awesome salad. This is a definite try. I am always looking for new recipes with quinoa.

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44 Jeanette July 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Marla, what a perfect summer quinoa salad to make for this month’s event. Love your change-ups and your gorgeous photos! Hope you are well.

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45 Peggy July 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Oh wow – this looks amazing! Your photos are just stunning – I’ve only tried the red variety of quinoa, but I’m definitely open to trying the others!

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46 Georgia Pellegrini July 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I’m with you, I loooove quinoa. I love red quinoa especially, with scallions, cucumbers, tomatoes, cured olives and whatever other veggies I can find.

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47 Jo July 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

What a beautiful salad! We love quinoa here, I think I found another dish on the blog hop to make for dinner this week!

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48 Corina July 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

This salad looks super healthy. I love the idea of changing pasta to quinoa.

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49 Katie @ This Chick Cooks July 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm

How yummy! That new take on blt sounds delicious!

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50 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

That looks so yummy. Actually everything on your table looks great, it makes me want to go outside and have a picnic :D Beautiful pictures as always. I love all the flavors in your salad, plus those cherry tomatoes are so beautiful! I love them so much too, can’t wait to get some from our farmers market, they come in all kinds of beautiful colors and shapes :D

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51 Chelsea Talks Smack July 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Love the jar idea, these are fantastic.

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52 Cookie and Kate July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Wow, your quinoa salad looks terrific, and perfect for summer! I’m a vegetarian, so I’d probably just skip the bacon altogether. I’m crazy for quinoa.

P.s. Thank you very much for including my quinoa tabbouleh recipe in your recipe links!

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53 Angie July 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Marla those photos are freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!

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54 Julie July 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm

What a beautiful salad. Your pictures are fabulous!

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55 Lisa~~ July 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Your photos are gorgeous and the quinoa looks wonderful too.

If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Holy Guacamole.

Lisa~~
Cook Lisa Cook

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56 Kimby July 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Absolutely stellar photos. The sun streaming through the cherry tomatoes in the 1/2 pint jar made me stop in my tracks. (Or browser…) Great recipe, great ideas, great fun!

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57 Taylor July 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I love love love BLT’s…I can only imagine how delicious this salad is with avocado!!

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58 Eliot July 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm

What great looking picnic fare!

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59 BigFatBaker July 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Oh my gosh, what a great dish to make with quinoa! I am still a quinoa noob so I am always looking for more things to do with it.
Thanks for stopping by BFB! It’s great being in SRC and learning about so many new blogs every month!

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60 Lisa @ The Gonzo Gourmet July 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I love that you switched out quinoa for the pasta – I’m trying to get more vegetarian protein into my 5yo and I’m hoping she’ll go for quinoa. As always your photos are stunning! I would love to peer over your shoulder as you style your sessions ;) Stopping by from SRC.

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61 sara July 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

This salad looks absolutely delicious! Definitely need to give it a try – much healthier version of a BLT! :)

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62 Tessa July 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Ooohhh… I’ve been craving BLT’s lately, and this looks great! I am absolutely saving this one!

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63 Angie's Recipes July 19, 2011 at 2:40 am

A very colourful and healthy salad!

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64 tinytearoom July 19, 2011 at 4:00 am

this looks like a wonderful picnic meal. This is exactly the kind of food I love to eat. Your photos are always vibrant and pay reverence to the fresh produce. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

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65 Marla July 19, 2011 at 6:13 am

It is all about that fresh produce & vibrancy. Those do need to take center stage in every meal. Thanks for your sweet compliments :)

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66 Joanne July 19, 2011 at 4:41 am

I love that you turned this super traditional sandwich into a salad! Makes it that much better, in my opinion!

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67 Amy | She Wears Many Hats July 19, 2011 at 7:33 am

I can almost taste the combo. So pretty too!

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68 HeatherChristo July 19, 2011 at 8:35 am

Oh Marla- now that is a salad even my husband would eat. Beautiful!

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69 Delishhh July 19, 2011 at 9:01 am

FABULOUS! Love the pictures and so healthy too. Very nice work!

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70 Amy @ A Little Nosh July 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

This was my first month doing the Secret Recipe Club and I can’t wait till next month! It was really fun!

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71 Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy July 19, 2011 at 9:50 am

Love the addition of avocado to this recipe, and the quinoa, too. Great idea!

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72 Melissa B. July 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

Ooooh, that sounds so good! I just got some cherry Sungold tomatoes in my CSA that would be delicious in this recipe- I must make it!

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73 Kathleen July 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Marla, this looks amazingly fresh and delicious! I love the micro greens

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74 Charissa July 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I always drool over your pictures. And now I’m really dying to try micro greens (never tried *sad face*)

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75 Carolyn July 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Ooo, love your changes to Jessie’s recipe for the SRC. This is perfect and I think even my kids might eat quinoa with these ingredients!

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76 Kim - Liv Life July 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I absolutely love what you did with this one! What an excellent SRC post… and in addition your photos are positively stunning. This one is now on our short list!! Nicely done!

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77 Marla July 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Thanks Kim!! You gotta try this quinoa. I did have so much fun with this post, appreciate your sweet compliments.

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78 nicole {real oc mom} July 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I am LOVING quinoa salads this summer, and I can’t wait to add this one to my repertoire! Thanks for the yumminess :)

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79 Maria @ Scandifoodie July 20, 2011 at 1:16 am

What a great idea! And the quinoa salad sounds just divine!

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80 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen July 20, 2011 at 1:54 am

The jars are a fun way to serve and transport this, I’ll have to remember that for my next picnic.

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81 Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray July 20, 2011 at 5:01 am

Love quinoa, and LOVE BLTs! I definitely have to try this one! Gorgeous photos, btw. Fun being in the SRC with you!

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82 Vivian Thiele July 20, 2011 at 8:02 am

What a wonderful twist on BLTs! Have quinoa in my cupboard so this will go on my next meal rotation!

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83 Barbara | Creative Culinary July 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Beautiful salad and I so need great recipes for quinoa. The package I bought from Costco seems it’s destined to last me for years if I don’t start using it more often!

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84 grace July 21, 2011 at 12:56 am

if i said i wanted a blat-q salad, i’d probably get some weird looks, but quinoa is a perfect addition! :)

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85 Marla July 21, 2011 at 5:27 am

Grace *chuckle* you always crack me up girl! Yeah, no one would probably know what the heck you were talking about if you asked for that. Except for me ;)

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86 Barbara Bakes July 21, 2011 at 6:03 am

What a fun way to change up the recipe. Both the pasta version and your salad version sound great. Love the pictures. You really captured the summer sunshine.

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87 Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily July 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm

How on Earth have I not found your fantastic site until now?!!! I love it. This recipe is just perfect and I can not wait to make it. Very gorgeous photos btw. wow. Oh, vegan bacon? ick. :}

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88 nestra July 22, 2011 at 4:41 am

Hmmm…. toasting the quinoa. I have never tried (or thought) of that. I will have to give it a try.
This recipe looks fab.

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89 The Healthy Apple July 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I love your blog; it’s amazing and your photography is beautiful. These pictures are incredible and I love your cherry tomatoes…they’re my favorite. What a wonderful recipe and loving the gluten-free goodness in each bite!

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90 Melissa B. July 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

I made a deconstructed version of this over the weekend, without mixing the dressing, quinoa, etc. It was delicious! My fiance and I LOVED it! Thanks, Marla :)

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91 Marla July 25, 2011 at 11:13 am

Melissa, yay I am so happy you guys loved this recipe. I am thinking I need to make some more for lunch today. Thanks for spreading the happiness :)

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92 Melissa B. July 26, 2011 at 9:27 am

I’m thinking this would make a very pretty/tasty layer salad as well. I’ll let you know if I try it!

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93 Stephanie July 25, 2011 at 11:38 am

Love love the watermelon! Goes with everything!

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94 Amy @ A Little Nosh July 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Marla, I just want to say that it really makes me smile that a blog with a reputation as amazing as yours, and a readership that many of us only strive for, is a part of this very quickly growing Secret Recipe Club. It just makes me so happy. And your photos are just gorgeous.

I’ll stop gushing now. :-)

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95 Marla July 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Thanks so much Amy, you are soooo sweet :) I love the whole idea of the Secret Recipe Club. Such a fun way to meet so many new blogger pals and get some great new recipes along the way. Glad we are in it together! xo

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96 Amanda July 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm

This is so beautiful! Marla your photos are such a work of art girl! I love quinoa. I’ve only made two things with it so far, but both were delicious. And it’s so easy to prepare, not finicky like rice can be :-P Thanks for your kind words about the SRC!

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97 Shumaila July 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm

That looks like a great salad!

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98 Marisa August 15, 2011 at 4:19 am

Loving the combo! And I love how fresh your salad looks – can’t wait to try it out come summer.

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99 sara August 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I made a version of this for dinner – so good! Love the idea of making a BLT into a healthier salad…delicious!

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100 Marla August 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Oh great! Sara I am so happy you had this salad for dinner. I am curious to hear your adaptations…….

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101 sara August 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

I used a slightly different dressing (just my regular basic vinaigrette recipe – oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard) and then tossed it with the quinoa, pepper bacon, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, thinly sliced cukes, and baby greens. So good!!!!! Thanks again for the recipe, it was awesome!

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102 Marla August 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

Sara, love your adaptations! The crunchy cucumber is something I need to do next time I make this & the pepper bacon sounds yummy. Also your homemade vinaigrette. Can you bring some here for lunch please ;)

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103 sara September 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Hey Marla -
So, it took me forever but I finally ended up posting this recipe to my blog! :) If you’d like to check it out, here it is!
http://cupcakemuffin.blogspot.com/2011/09/blt-salad.html

104 Rachel P. August 25, 2011 at 6:01 am

After seeing this mentioned on bonappetit.com, I made this for dinner last night and it received rave reviews. I used sauteed leeks because I couldn’t get green onions, and skipped the feta, and my two-person household loved it! Great recipe — thank you, Marla.

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105 Becka @ Just a Bunch of Momsense February 8, 2012 at 6:32 am

Marla, this recipe looks and sounds amazing! What a delicious combination! I love how you toss the avocado in the lemon juice first. Great idea! Isn’t it funny that everything we make has a very likely potential of becoming a lunchbox idea? ;)

Also, where’d you get those 8oz. rounded Ball jars? They’re adorable! ;)

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106 Marla February 8, 2012 at 9:02 am

Hi Becka! Think I found those a while back at Smart + Final. I believe these are the same 1/2 pint jars at my Amazon Store :)

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107 gina @ skinnytaste March 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

wow these photos make me want to take a bite of that watermelon! love the salad in a jar too!

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108 Jennifer June 8, 2012 at 7:15 am

Just made this for dinner last night–so fantastic!! I didn’t have garlic salt so I used garlic powder and salt; probably will omit the salt next time since there’s plenty of that from the bacon and feta. I also added some garlic scapes from the CSA share I picked up that night. This is definitely going in my regular rotation–easy, and so, so flavorful. Thanks!!

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109 Jennifer January 6, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I’ve made this recipe a couple times and it is like a sympathy of flavors in my mouth. Thanks for this awesome recipe! :D

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110 Marla January 7, 2013 at 3:14 am

Hi Jennifer “a symphony of flavors” I LOVE that description! Thank you :) So glad you enjoyed this quinoa!

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