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Quinoa salad or brown rice salad to take to the lake to be eaten the next day?

I need to make a salad Friday morning to be eaten the next day at the lake.

We will have an ice chest but "refrigeration" won't be optimal.

Just wondering if quinoa or rice would be better for the occasion.

I will add parsley, cilantro, cukes, onions, grape tomatoes, maybe black beans, oil and vinegar dressing....

Thanks so much for your suggestions.

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  1. I would do quinoa and pack the dressing separately to add before serving so the veggies don't get wilted. Sounds delicious!

    2 Replies
    1. re: GretchenS

      I make a quinoa salad with dukes, red bells, toasted nuts, parsley, chopped carrots, scallions, dried cranberries, lemon mice, evoo and salt. Amazing at room temp.

      1. re: Miri1

        I like doing dressing before as I find the longer it sits the better it gets, I also like to add other herbs altogether such as mint, basil, parsley, cilantro. Lemon, garlic and olive oil are my go to dressings for quinoa.

    2. Quinoa for sure. I find it keeps its texture far better than rice. And I'd keep the cukes and tomatoes chopped and in baggies in the cooler until just before serving.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LauraGrace

        I also like to use cherry tomatoes, cut in half, they hold up better than chopped regular ones.

      2. Thanks, everyone. Quinoa it will be...

        although....I have never made it before! Probably not the best time to experiment and then send with DH for his sailing weekend with the guys.

        I bought WF organic. Instructions say to rinse and cook like rice (one part quinoa to two parts water or liquid).

        I have cukes, onions, and tomatoes (will send tomatoes separately) and cilantro and black beans. How about adding roasted red peppers? No parsley, I am sad to say; was not good at the market today.

        Planning a lemon, olive oil, and vinegar dressing. Need to go ahead and mix it before sending.

        Should I use some of my good broth instead of water?

        I read a lot of recipes. They all sounded good. Was just confusing.

        Any other yea''s or nay's?

        Thanks for your help. I want my contribution to stand up to the other DW's. lol

        5 Replies
        1. re: laredo

          Theres a bit of give and take when it comes to the doneness of quinoa. I like it a bit overdone when the flagellum detaches (looks like sperm...). Others like it less done. Its a personal choice, so you can decide when cooking. Also, if it gets too dry before its done (to your liking), just add a bit more water and keep going.
          Since its going to be oil/vinegar dressed, I wouldn't bother cooking in broth.
          I'd leave the cukes out, but thats a personal preference and I'd add a bit of finely chopped garlic.
          Don't worry about the minimal refrigeration, it'll be good cool to room temp as Miri1 says.

          1. re: porker

            Thanks so much, Porker. :<)

            Now to google "flagellum!"

            Would the roasted peppers be a good idea?

            1. re: laredo

              Yes, use the roasted peppers. I would also add fresh grilled corn, (or frozen if time constraints.)

              1. re: othervoice

                Thanks, othervoice.

                Grilled corn sounds fabulous, but I have only canned whole kernel on hand.

              2. re: laredo

                A day later....
                I don't get to use flagellum everyday, but when I get the chance...
                I was (am) a Larson fan. There was a cartoon about 20 years ago showing two chatting protozoa and one says to the other "He told you that? Well, he's pulling your flagellum, Nancy.” So thats what the quinoa reminds me of....
                Roasted red pepper? sounds very good and will add a great color contrast.

          2. I'm probably late for your picnic, but last week I made this Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe, and it was just the thing to cool one down on a warm summer day.


            1. This is really good - fine with white quinoa as well....
              I copied it from my Excel file so the tabs are all messed up, but I think it's clear enough.


              Item quantity unit Preparation

              Red Quinoa 4 Cups cooked
              Mango 2 each diced
              Red Onion 1 Cup small diced
              Carrots 1.5 Cups grated on the box grater (holes)
              Scallions 1 bunch chopped
              Avocado 2 each 1 diced and tossed in lime juice, 1 whole for the dressing
              Lime Juice 6 oz
              Rice Vinegar 4 oz
              Orange Juice 4 oz
              Salt 2 oz
              Canola Oil 8 oz


              Combine quinoa, mango, red onion & scallions.
              Drain the diced avocado - reserve the lime juice for the dressing
              Add the diced avocado to the salad
              "Combine all remaining ingredients - avocado, lime juice, rice vinegar, orange juice, salt & canola -
              blend or mix in the robo coupe"
              Toss all of the dressing with the salad

              1. Sounds like your plan is formed but for next time, consider faro as the grain. I've become a big fan. The texture is toothsome, much like brown rice. I like the way it absorbs the dressing without becoming soggy or falling apart. I've tried to love quinoa and while the taste is fine, the texture and appearance are suboptimal for me.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tcamp

                  I use my rice cooker for my quinoa, and pretty much never rinse it. comes out perfect every time. Same ratio as rice.

                  I think the roasted red peppers and corn (even canned) sound like a great idea. Really, almost anything goes, asparagus is nice too.

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    Lucky fellas on the sailing trip! Here is a really easy recipe below that lasts well. Also, I make my quinoa, spread it on a lined pan and let it dry out a bit.....don't ask me why but it seems to be better...!


                    3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
                    2 tablespoons cooking sherry or mirin
                    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
                    2 tsp fresh dill weed (1 tsp ground dried)
                    1 stalk of celery, sliced
                    1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half
                    2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
                    1/3 cup roasted cashews

                    In one bowl, mix the ingredients in order except the cashews. Let sit at least 1 hour. Add nuts before serving. Serves 3-4

                    1. re: cleopatra999

                      Depending on the brand of quinoa, one rinses it to remove a bitter taste. I always rinse quinoa as I buy the bulk version. It has to do with the processing of the grain, leaves a bitter coating which can be nasty tasting.

                  2. have you ever tried farro, (spelt) it is ancient grain, becoming more popular now, and really delish! it resembles barley, though darker(its kinda brown) and its is beautiful and nutty! it cooks just like barely would, and with all the vegies you mentioned, and your dressing, it would be divine!!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: encoretraiteur

                      First, I want to thank all of you very much for your suggestions. I think every single idea sounds great, and I will probably make each one during the summer.

                      Report and another question:

                      When the time came, I just couldn't pull the trigger on the quinoa, being it would be my first time, so I defaulted to brown rice.

                      However, when I got the brown rice package out of the pantry, I realized I had bought "instant" brown rice! (I have bought Uncle Ben's for years, but it is no longer sold at my store.)

                      So...since I had a deadline, I went ahead and made the instant rice....and it turned out to be bad! dry and yucky. So....I had to dress and go back to the store!
                      The brown rice that was available was not great, but acceptable. I cooked the rice, chopped and added cukes, cilantro, onions, carrots, marinated artichokes, and roasted red peppers. Dressed with olive oil, two kinds of vinegars, and lemon juice. Salt I sent cherry tomatoes separately. It turned out be be quite good. Whew!

                      The question: Now I had six or more cups of the "bad" rice and didn't want to pitch it. So yesterday I added lots of olive oil, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, a cuke (to make matters worse, it is bitter! lol), onion, cilantro, parsley, carrots, and cherry tomatoes.

                      My husband, who will eat anything, didn't eat this! He said it was too dry and needed some liquid.

                      Well,,,,right. Any ideas on what I could add, or should I just throw it out and move on?

                      1. re: laredo

                        if you want to add moisture, add some water to it, let it sit and soak it up. If it turns out crappy, well, it sounds crappy to begin with so no hurt in trying.

                        1. re: wyogal

                          I'll do it right now. Thanks!

                          1. re: laredo

                            I would add a creamy salad dressing to salvage it.