Especially within the last few years, food industry trends has seen the rise of a couscous-esque grain taking the grocery shelves by storm. Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah”, is a small grain packed with protein and amino acids. As an excellent sources of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, and much more, quinoa is as versatile as rice, but with a richer, nuttier flavor.

That’s why it’s a perfect pairing with watermelon in this mouth-watering recipe for Lemony Quinoa and Watermelon Salad! As you’ll see below, pecans are optional, but the recipe also explains that adding a bit of fat from the nuts helps boost absorption of the lycopene in watermelon, a compound that helps lower the risk for cancer and heart disease.

Lemony Quinoa and Watermelon Salad

pic 4 Tablespoons agave syrup
5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 Tablespoons lemon zest
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Salt to taste
2 cups cooked black quinoa
2 ¾ cup watermelon cubes
1 kiwi, peeled and diced
4 Tablespoons shredded coconut
½ cup candied pecans*


1. In a medium bowl, blend thoroughly the agave syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt. Add the quinoa and toss until fully coated. Set aside to allow flavors to blend.
2. Add the watermelon, kiwi, coconut, and nuts. Toss.
3. Divide into four bowls and garnish with mint sprig.

*Purchase already candied nuts, such as Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans, or use the following recipe:

Candied Pecans:

Toss ½ cup pecans with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Mix a dash each of ground cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cayenne, cumin, and salt with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Toss nuts with this spice blend and roast in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Cool.
Make 4 servings.

UP NEXT: What’s Lycopene, and why is it good for me?

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