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Fiery Fruit & Quinoa Salad from Salad Samurai

Fiery Fruit and Quinoa Salad

I have a very distinct memory of being in pre-school and coloring something blue and having the crayon ripped out of my hand by a boy yelling, “Blue is for booooys!” Ha ha, pre-schoolers, right? It’s a good thing we all grow up and discard crazy ideas like that.

Except that we don’t. Because what’s the ultimate test for a vegetarian recipe? Very often, it’s “would a man eat this?” I mean, duh, men eat steak! Vegetarian food is for ladies. If a man would eat a veggie burger, then you know it’s good.

This seems to be doubly true with salads. Why can’t a man like a salad? What makes salad a feminine food? Is the belief that men don’t eat salad any less ridiculous than that 4-year-old boy who wouldn’t let me color with a blue crayon? Salad is for everyone! Except people who hate salads! And salad haterism knows no gender!

Salad Samurai
I happen to be a reformed salad hater, but now that I like salads, I really like salads. I try to plan a salad dinner at least once a week, and sometimes more often now that it’s summer and I hate having big heavy dinners when it’s hot out. When I received a review copy of Terry Hope Romero’s Salad Samurai, I was pretty darn giddy because there are 100 salad recipes in this book — 100 salad recipes that are creative, easy, and substantive. These are not anemic little side salads!

I’ve made the Pepperoni Tempeh Pizza Salad and the Blueberry Tamari Greens Bowl, both of which knocked my socks off. (I mean, pizza salad. Need I say more? Pizza. Salad.) Then, because it’s summer and I can’t get enough peaches or corn, I made the Fiery Fruit & Quinoa Salad, which I’m sharing below. Corn, red onions, and peaches are grilled to perfection, then tossed with quinoa and a Chia Chipotle Dressing. Although the recipe says it serves 2, we got 4 decent-sized servings out of it when I made it. NEED a copy of this book so you can get your hands on all these amazing salad recipes? Purchase it on

Fiery Fruit and Quinoa Salad

Fiery Fruit & Quinoa Salad

A sweet-and-spicy quinoa salad from Terry Hope Romero's Salad Samurai.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


Chia Chipotle Dressing

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed or store-bought orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 2 cups cooked chilled red or confetti quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup lightly packed chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed chiffonaded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large red onion sliced into rings
  • 3 large firm peaches or nectarines, halved and pitted
  • 3 ears of corn husks and corn silk removed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds


  • Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a glass or plastic measuring cup. Cover and chill for 10 minutes or overnight to plump up the chia seeds.
  • Pour the quinoa, beans, and fresh herbs into a large mixing bowl. Keep this mixture chilled while you grill the remaining ingredients.
  • Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat, or heat an outdoor grill as per manufacturer's directions. Rub the fruit and veggies with a thin coating of olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Grill the onions until browned, about 3 minutes; set aside. Grill the peaches on each side for about 2 minutes, until the outside is hot and slightly charred; set aside. Grill the ears of corn until the kernels are lightly charred, turning the cobs occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Cool the vegetables and fruit just enough to be handled safely, then dice into bite-sized pieces. Use a knife with a thin blade to slice the corn kernels off the cobs.
  • Transfer the chopped fruit and veggies to the bowl with the quinoa, add the pumpkin seeds, and then pour on the dressing and toss thoroughly. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


From Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014
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  • Reply
    July 31, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Cool recipe! I love the idea of grilled fruits in a salad and chia seeds in the dressing! I wonder if I need to buy the book 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 5, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      You should! 😀 It’s one of my favorite cookbooks that I’ve gotten this year.

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    July 31, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Ooh sweet and savory…love!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I bought this cookbook immediately, as a HUGE salad lover, and I’ve loved every single recipe I’ve tried. my one and only complaint is that the serving sizes are all over the place. The book says this recipe (which is freaking delicious!) is 2 servings!!! We could’ve easily made this into 5 servings. I recommend this book to everyone!! If you haven’t tried it, make the bbq tempeh ‘n dilly slaw salad.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Hahah and I just saw your note about the serving size!

      • Reply
        Kiersten Frase
        August 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm

        Yes, the servings are HUUUUGE! I guess that’s better than the alternative – I hate making a recipe that says it serves 6 and it’s barely enough to split between me and my husband, which is a problem I’ve had with other cookbooks. We’ve consistently gotten 4 servings out of every recipe I’ve made from the book, which makes lunch the next day really easy. 🙂

  • Reply
    EA-The Spicy RD
    July 31, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    This post brings back memories of Charlie Black-the boy who ate everything, including glue and crayons-from my elementary school days 🙂 Lovely salad, and even though my man loves his meat, I bet he would totally dig this salad too!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      I remember trying paste once after being encouraged by a classmate. It was minty, I think. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of that book! The name of this salad is so enticing and adorable. Gorgeous grill marks on that peach, btw 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 5, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      I was pretty proud of those grill marks. 😉

  • Reply
    July 31, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    So a cookbook about salads, yum ! Are whole family loves salads/green drinks… Do you post everyday?

  • Reply
    Millie l Add A Little
    July 31, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    This looks amazing and it’s so beautiful!

  • Reply
    Jennie @themessybakerblog
    August 1, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Wow, that is one gorgeous salad. You can’t go wrong with quinoa, and, with that added peach, I’m all in.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I’m not usually one for salad but this looks great! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Just experienced my first grilled peach this weekend… now I want to put it in ere’thang. yay!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Salads can definitely be hit or miss for me (mostly because of my disdain for anemic salads) but a whole book full of fun, exciting main dish salads?! Music to my ears.

    I love how so much of summer is packed into this. Plus the dressing, which sounds good enough to drink.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      You would LOOOOOVE this book! I get a lot of cookbooks and so many of them just seem like the same things over & over, but this one has lots of truly unique ideas. And the salads are huge, so not anemic at all. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 17, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 fcyho

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