Lentil quinoa chopped salad

Hi guys! How’s your morning going?? Thank you so much for all of your awesome comments on the blog facelift! I took all of your suggestions to heart and made a list of things to tweak in the next few days. Thanks for your patience! This has been the most intense revamp yet, so I’m grateful to you all (and to Julie!) for rolling with the changes.

Yesterday was an awesome day, and it even started off with rain. I’ve learned that rain is a rarity here in San Diego, and this black cat scurried into our yard. He didn’t know what to do with himself.

Photo 169

The rain only lasted about 30 seconds, but Liv and I still spent the morning indoors making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, watching Mary Poppins and coloring.

We also had some of this with lunch, and I had another serving as a late afternoon snack. It’s that good! Bonus: it’s surprisingly toddler-approved. 

Quinoa lentil salad  1 of 1 2

This mixture is a combo of this festive and filling salad and the best pasta salad you will ever have in your life. Instead of noodles, I swapped with a protein-packed and satisfying lentil-quinoa combo.

Quinoa  1 of 1

Fresh basil from our little garden,

Basil  1 of 1

a mountain of goat cheese and sundried tomatoes.

Goat cheese mountain  1 of 1

A mountain of goat cheese is always the correct answer.

I cooked the quinoa in the rice steamer, which prepares it perfectly on the “brown rice” setting. (When I cook it myself, I tend to forget about it and come back to charbroiled quinoa pebbles.)

Kitchen  1 of 1

(Chicken for dinner was slow-cooking away at the same time. Three cheers for convenience!)

Here’s the combo if you’d like to give it a whirl. Not only is a wonderfully savory vegetarian option, but it also keeps well in the fridge. You can enjoy it in a wrap, atop salad greens, or by itself.

Ingredients  1 of 1

Quinoa lentil salad  1 of 1

Let me know if you give it a try!


Lentil quinoa chopped salad

A protein-packed salad that keeps well in the fridge and is a savory vegetarian meal. It tastes like pizza!

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked in 2 cups water
  • 17 oz cooked lentils (I like the packaged ones from Trader Joe’s)
  • 4 oz sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste


  1. 1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients.
  2. 2. Season to taste and store covered in the fridge!


  • Serve atop salad greens, in a wrap, or with a grilled protein! Make on Sunday to enjoy for lunch throughout the week.


  • Serving Size: 5

(Nutrition stats are here)



New Livi-isms up on the Family page!

Peanut butter and almond butter recall info. Check yo labels. I had to throw a half-eaten jar away.

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  1. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on August 21, 2014 at 7:33 am

    This sounds so perfect, Gina! I ate a lot of pasta as a kid, but now that I’m an adult and therefore am totally the decider of what I eat, lentils an quinoa beat pasta every time! Also, the sundried tomatoes…. you clearly know the way to my heart! Making cookies and colouring with Mary Poppins sounds like the perfect way to spend a rainy morning. 🙂

  2. kristin @ W [H] A T C H on August 21, 2014 at 7:43 am

    i love salad with quinoa and have been trying to work in more lentils, so this is perfect! i’m going to make a batch for lunch.

  3. Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl on August 21, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Love the new look of the blog! And the look of that salad… pinning!

  4. Crystal on August 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This sounds so good. My husband isn’t much of a quinoa person, but I’m thinking he’ll eat almost anything if it has goat cheese in it 😀

  5. LInda @ Fit Fed and Happy on August 21, 2014 at 8:23 am

    WHOA that looks good.

  6. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on August 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

    A mountain of any kind of cheese is always the correct answer 😉 This week I’ve been a bit off with my eats because I’ve been SO busy, but I’m looking forward to some serious salads as soon as I can get my booty to the grocery store!

  7. Kathryn @ Chicks Dig Running on August 21, 2014 at 8:48 am

    This looks really good I am definitely going to give it a try! I bet it would be good with Barley as the grain, too, for a nutty little flavor.

    Totally agree about the goat cheese- I go through one of those giant logs of soft chèvre from Trader Joe’s every week!

  8. April on August 21, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Mmmm, looks delish!!!! Thanks for the recipe!
    Just one comment on the redesign, it is lovely…but are you no longer including the ‘friends’ section? I loved looking at the blogs you read and have found a few favs from your list:)

    • Fitnessista on August 21, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      you’re right– definitely need to add them back in there

  9. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More on August 21, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Oh my, that looks so good!!

  10. Megan @ Piece of Kake on August 21, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Sounds like a perfect morning! I am on such a quinoa kick right now and seem to have it with something almost daily

  11. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on August 21, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I love the combo of lentils and quinoa!

  12. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on August 21, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I never thought to use our rice cooker for quinoa! Thank you!

  13. Nicole F. on August 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

    These are all my favorite things in one recipe 🙂 I have a deep love for sun-dried tomatoes in anything. Also, livi-isms never cease to make me smile! It’s a great way to keep a snapshot to laugh about when she’s older 🙂

  14. Amanda on August 21, 2014 at 10:07 am

    This looks fab! I’m going to make it this weekend.

    Thanks for including the nutrition info!

  15. M Davi on August 21, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Love the new look of the blog!
    Now I’m inspired to try some quinoa recipes 🙂
    Are you still brewing Kombucha? I’m finally ordered a SCOBY from Kombucha Kamp, after a fail when trying to start my own from a store bought bottle.
    I’ll let you know how my new batch turns out.

  16. Katie on August 21, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Thanks for the info on the nut butter recall! I had 3 different jars that I have to get rid of. Bummer! But thanks for lookin out! Also, this salad looks great! Can’t wait to try it!

  17. Britt@MyOwnBalance on August 21, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for the nut butter warning. So gross! This is the third time this year I’ve had something recalled!

  18. Maureen on August 21, 2014 at 11:17 am

    YUM!!! This will be my lunch everyday next week. Thanks for the new recipe inspo!! 🙂

  19. Cara on August 21, 2014 at 11:18 am


  20. Jessie on August 21, 2014 at 11:22 am

    That looks fantastic, definitely something I’ll probably be making soon to pack for lunch at work :). A new dog park just opened up near by where I live, went last night, so fun!

  21. Alex @ True Femme on August 21, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Classes start back for me next week and this looks like a perfect, delicious, healthy meal that’s easy to throw together! I’m definitely bookmarking this one and making it next week!

  22. Jamilla on August 21, 2014 at 11:58 am

    This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  23. Kathy on August 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Don’t know if you will love this tip as much as I do since I don’t own a rice cooker BUT, one day I saw on a quinoa package “power saving cooking instructions.” Huh?

    It said I could cook the quinoa for only 5 mins, cover it and let it sit for 30 mins and it would be perfect. I had no belief it would but I’d burnt quinoa enough times to try. Totally did work! Eureka! Now I do it that way every time. It’s worked dozens of times!!

  24. Sarah on August 21, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    This looks great, going to have to give it a try. And I concur, a mountain of goat cheese is ALWAYS the correct answer 🙂

  25. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on August 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    reminds me of your “the best pasta salad” recipe, with a burst of protein! 🙂

  26. Jill on August 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I have a ??? about prepping quinoa. I only tried it once and felt like I failed at rinsing it. I rinsed it in a colander, but felt like I lost a lot of quinoa through the colander and a lot of water sat on top of it. Any recommendations?

  27. Laura @SheEatsWell on August 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Basil, sundried tomatoes, and cheese is always the perfect combo.

    PS I am dying over the Livi-isms…too cute.

  28. Amanda on August 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    I love the new lay out. So organized and easy to navigate. Your photos look gorgeous too. You inspire me as a mom & a health & fitness expert. Thank you for everything.

  29. Amalia on August 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    This looks delicious and sounds like it would be a great thing to make for some of my lunches!

  30. Jill on August 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I think your site looks great!
    Goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes are so awesome together.

  31. Kimerly on August 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Will definitely have to try the cooking quinoa in the rice cooker thing. Great trick!

  32. Harsha @ Healthy Cooking 'N' Fitness on August 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Looks so delish Gina. I am going to try it out asap

  33. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl on August 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Yum!!! This sounds awesome in a wrap!!

  34. Shelly on August 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    This recipe definitely looks like something I would love!

    PS – the revamp looks awesome!

  35. sandy on August 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Really liking the new blog! and easier to navigate!

  36. Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift on August 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    This looks so tasty!

    I saw that recall and was so bummed! Just bought 2 jars of Arrowhead Mills tahini and am debating whether to take them back (not opened yet, don’t worry!). Between that and the ebola scare in Sacramento, my inner hypochondriac is having a f-ing field day.

  37. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on August 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Always love a mountain of goat cheese! 🙂

  38. Heather Cory on August 21, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I never thought to mix basil with lentils and quinoa, sounds like a great idea for lunch tomorrow!

  39. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on August 22, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Sundried tomatoes + goat cheese is an amazing combination!

  40. Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen on August 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

    This looks so amazing! 🙂

  41. april on August 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    i just made a batch of quinoa in my rice cooker yesterday – SO easy!

    i need to give this recipe a try – i don’t eat much meat, so i love veg friendly recipes where i can also get a good amount of protein. thanks for the recipe, gina! =)

  42. Emily on August 23, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Your recipes always look (and taste!) so good! You should offer cooking classes (and if I wasn’t on the right coast, I’d tots be in attendance)!!

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