Quinoa Hearts Recipe

Transforming boring foods to declarations of love.

While shopping for a coffee grinder at the Season Cookshop in Crouch End, Palm bought me this superb heart-shaped food stencil (check picture; I have no idea what it is called). I have been meaning to get my hands on one for a while now, just never happended to come across it. Heart-shaped food stencil may turn out super-useful in a number of occasions, but it clearly works magic if employed together with rice / quinoa / anything of the type.

So here is my quinoa salad recipe (for minimalists it works as is but feel free to add whatever you like). It is clean, powerful and yummy (if you are not in a double-bacon burger frame of mind) & says I love you in an ever so subtle way!

P.S.: Palm was non-plussed when I presented him with his heart-shaped quinoa plate but I believe he was impressed underneath.


Queen of Stuff Quinoa Hearts


  • Quinoa
  • Kidney beans (canned, unless you really feel like going the extra mile)
  • Lettuce (the more varieties, the merrier the result)
  • Tomato
  • Cilantro

The above do it for me to begin with. You can add more ingredients to suit your taste. Prospective extras include (but not limited to):

  • rocket
  • peppers (any and all colours)
  • tuna
  • cucumber
  • broccoli
  • you get the picture…

For the sauce

  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar / lemon
  • Chilly flakes (optional but highly recommended)
  • Garlic (ditto)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How to:

Rinse the quinoa and place in saucepan, roughly following a 1:2 analogy (e.g. 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water). Bring to the boil and immediately cover with lid, lower heat and let shimmer untill all water is absorbed. Meanwhile, dice the tomatos and peppers, chop the lettuce and cilantro and place all in a salad bowl. Add the beans (drain the juice, obviously) and any extra ingredients you are using. In a different bowl, combine the sauce ingredients, crush the garlic and throw in the mix. Add quinoa to the salad bowl and shower with the sauce. Mix well to create interesting patterns and flavour bites. Last, and more importantly, place stencil-heart in plate and densely fill with quinoa mix. Level the surface and gently remove stencil. Repeat according to how hungry / lovely you feel.


– Not mentioning quantities – it is clearly a case of playing it by ear. For the benefit of control freaks however, let’s say a cup of quinoa, and half a can of beans should feed 2 persons. The rest you figure out according to your gusto.

– The recipe is clean-eating to the maximum: gluten free, lactose-free, vegetarian and overall decent power food. Hence not mentioning calories either – it is ultra healthy stuff so get on with it.

Bon apetit


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