Famous Quinoa Salad

I was with Martina in Hamburg the first time I had this salad. We were at the home of her mother’s cousin, Antje, and the year was 2004. I guess technically speaking, it was a salat. Right, Martina?

I know that it was 2004 (July, 2004, even) because Martina made me a photo album which includes photos of every single time our two families got together (on average, once per month) from 2002-2005. The very first picture in the album is of the arrival marquis at the Frankfurt Airport, showing that we landed five minutes late (08:45am) on a flight originating in Atlanta on the 12th of July, 2002.


When we asked Antje about her wonderful salat, she showed us this box.

which had the recipe on the back. Before we left Hamburg, Martina and I went to a local grocery store and each bought several boxes. Before we left Germany, I found and purchased ten boxes. When I ran out, I began searching for Zartweizen, to no avail. At one point, I tried substituting Bulgar Wheat, which was as wrong as wrong can be.

Somehow, I don’t remember how, I figured out that while it was not quinoa, quinoa was an excellent substitute. When I called Martina to tell her the good news, I discovered that she had figured it out, too.

So. Without further ado, I give you..


A couple of things are missing here..

There we go. That’s everything.

Begin by peeling and dicing your cucumbers.

Dump them in a pretty bowl given to you by Martina.

Next, slice your cherry tomatoes in halves or in fourths, depending on your mood.

I was in the mood for halves today.

Dice your bell peppers. I always like to do two different colors, because we all know that pretty food tastes better.

Add ’em to the mix.

Forget to take a picture.

Dice your red onion (green onion works, but messes with the color theory), and throw it in.

Add the Glorious Feta next.

Sneak a few bites. Remind yourself that Feta is naturally low in fat, and sneak a few more bites.

Make the dressing. Do it like this: Squeeze the juice of one big lemon into a bowl. Add 1/3 cup olive oil. Mix.

Oh! See that Herbamare? That’s a magical German seasoning that Martina introduced me to. It’s made from sea salt, herbs, and vegetables.

Notice how there are two containers of Herbamare in the photo above? The big one is mine. Martina buys me more every time she goes home to Germany.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, Martina is the goods.

Now, see the smaller of the two containers of Herbamare? That one is yours.

Back to theĀ salat. Stick with me closely on this part, okay? Before you started peeling that first cucumber, you put two cups of water in a pot on the stove. You turned it on high. When it began boiling, you added to it one cup of quinoa. You placed a lid on the pot, and you turned the temperature to somewhere just below medium. Then you set your timer for 15 minutes. When the timer went off, you transferred your quinoa to a bowl of some sort and put it in the refrigerator to cool

Got that?

Good. When you’re all done chopping and dicing, your quinoa will be sufficiently cool.


Then you’ll take your cool quinoa and add it to your veggies, pour on the dressing, and shake on the Herbamare. Grab yourself a spoon, because some serious tasting will need to happen here. Tonight, for example, I ended up adding the juice of an additional lemon. These things happen.

However it shakes out (har har), you’re going to love this salat.

If you don’t happen to have a container of Herbamare, you can do one of two things:

1. You can enter a comment below for a chance to win some of your very own.

2. You can substitute a blend of sea salt and herbs, or even something simple like Mrs. Dash. I guess you could even substitute Italian dressing, but then you’d be mixing countries. I don’t know how you feel about mixing countries, but it doesn’t work for me.

*One winner, drawn at random (by a kid, who will pull a name out of a hat) Saturday morning at 9EST. You have until then to enter. Good luck!

17 thoughts on “Famous Quinoa Salad

  1. Your photos are beautiful and the salad – or salat – will solve my “what the heck am I going to feed these people for a light, cool dinner on Friday night?” Gorgeous colors! Pretty food is happy food. Never heard of the Herbamare – fascinating.

  2. I have to try this with my 2lb bag of quinoa that I bought and just look at in my cupboard on occasion!

  3. I can attest to this being AWESOME. Thanks for sharing. I have given this recipe out a dozen times. I’ve renamed it, “Karen’s Quinoa Salad.” Since I have some of your seasoning (thank you!), leave my name out of the hat and share the wealth. :)

  4. i want the spice. what are the odds it would actually make it to the mailbox? this salat looks amazing. i need to eat it with you, in person.

  5. I must, must, must have this seasoning. This is the best salat that I’ve every had. Experienced it with Karen in Germany during my 2 month long trips there and she is gracious enough to make it EVERY SINGLE TIME I come to visit no matter where they happen to be :) LOVE!

  6. LOVE this post!! Who wouldn’t love being called “the goods”?!? šŸ˜‰
    Anyway, I’m glad you have found a good version. Quinoa is not the same, because “Zartweizen” is a type of wheat. Since we are gluten-free now this works much better for us anyway AND Quinoa is so healthy!
    Whoever does not win the Herbamare, here in CO we can get it at our health-food-store. You might want to check. One of my favorite seasonings I use all the time.
    Carey, I have to agree with you, eating that salad WITH Karen in person would be best!!!

  7. Looks good.. I wonder if I could sneak the feta past the kids.. they are very inquisitive as to what things are if it looks different. Might have to try it. Looks wonderful

  8. I didn’t even read the recipe yet, I just had to comment on your photo skills! You go girl!

    • I could write a whole post on the time and various contortions it took to get these photos, Cher. :-) I think I’m improving, but there is still a looooong hill to climb.

  9. Ditto to what Cher said! The photos look great! Can’t wait to try this out. Pinning it to my Quinoa board on Pinterest!:)

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