Aggie's Kitchen

Toasted Garlicky Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm and Goat Cheese {and Sea Turtle Rescue}

It may be back to school here, but to me it’s feeling like the dog days of summer that’s for sure. It’s hot, it’s muggy and I am finding myself wanting to be outside in the fresh air, but quickly going back in once I’m out there because I feel like I’m melting.

It is what it is. It’s August. (and Florida will be feeling this way until at least mid-October so I promise I won’t complain anymore.)

With the kids at school, I’m back to dining alone at lunch time. Lunch has always been one of my favorite meals of the day because (and I’m trying not to sound selfish when I say this) but it’s my meal – meaning, it’s the one meal of the day that I am not thinking of anyone else’s likes/dislikes/wants/not wants, it’s all about me.

Since no one gets excited about quinoa salad in my house other than me, this light and summery Toasted Quinoa Salad is the perfect lunch to get me through this hot week. I made it on Monday, stuck in the fridge and have picked on it for lunch every day since. If you haven’t ever toasted quinoa – or even better infused it with crushed garlic – then you should definitely try it. These two things boost the flavor of the quinoa itself just enough and makes a salad full of simple ingredients extra extra good.

Print Recipe

Toasted Garlicky Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm and Goat Cheese


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (I use the back of my knife)
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can sliced Hearts of Palm, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 big splashes of red wine vinegar
  • good pinch salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled


  1. To prepare toasted quinoa: Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add uncooked quinoa to pot and stir for 1-2 minutes, this will "toast" your quinoa. Add 2 cups water and crushed garlic clove. Cook according to directions.
  2. Once quinoa is cooked, set aside until completely cooled.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, tomatoes, Hearts of Palm, red onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Gently toss to combine. Season well with salt and pepper and toss again.
  4. Crumble 1 oz of goat cheese over each serving. Can be served at room temperature or chilled.

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My sister shared with me something cool she did with her family earlier this week. She was part of a group that adopted a sea turtle nest through the Volusia Flagler Turtle Patrol and this past week assisted in helping out a nest that well…needed helping. There were little survivors trapped in the nest they adopted so the Turtle Patrol dug up the nest and released the little hatchlings off to sea. Seriously, how awesome is that?

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29 comments on “Toasted Garlicky Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Hearts of Palm and Goat Cheese {and Sea Turtle Rescue}”

  1. Such a healthy recipe and looks like it would be wonderful as a full meal salad or as a side dish! I love when those kind of recipes happen! And the sea turtle rescue? Too cool!

  2. I would love to participate in the sea turtle rescue too, how fun!

  3. Oh my gosh those turtles! Melt.xoox

  4. the sea turtle rescue sound incredible…baby turtles are SO adorable!

  5. Is it truly that hot until mid october?! That’s craziness. My mil is trying to get us all to come out for Thanksgiving, but without a job right now… well it will be tough.
    How awesome are those baby sea turtles. Gosh. I do need to find a way out there/

    • Oh you have no idea how many Halloween nights we get back from trick or treating sweaty & dehydrated!! Where does your mil live? November & December in FL are warm, but nice!! I hope you can pull off the trip.

  6. Oh my goodness! So fun. You’re my hero ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Quinoa and Turtles?! I am IN LOVE. Seriously, turtles are my thing. And the quinoa salad looks amazing, love the idea of toasting it!

  8. I’m the only quinoa lover at my house too. I am definitely trying your toasting method, it sounds delish! Loved the turtle rescue too, awesome.

  9. Awesomeee!! Sounds so delicious.

  10. What a cool experience Aggie!

    This quinoa looks delightful–we don’t eat enough heart of palm around here.

  11. We’ve been experimenting a lot with quinoa lately. This sounds great!

  12. I want some of that salad! I’ve been craving those flavors lately!

  13. We are HUGE quinoa fans over here. I adore this dish Aggie! PS – I made a Quinoa Love pinboard, if you want me to add you to it let me know!

  14. I know exactly what you mean about lunch time, something soothing about enjoying a meal with no distractions. Hope that you guys are having a great start with your school year. Turtle rescues are so amazing!

  15. I completely understand you love of alone-lunches. I’m so used to eating lunch alone (at work, though, not at home), and I love not only getting to make the choice of what to eat but having silence (hopefully) to eat it in. When I’m home with the kids, it’s a different story entirely.

    Yay for sea turtles! I would love to help out with a sea turtle rescue/nest adoption one day. You’re so lucky to live nearer the ocean than we do up here.

  16. Love the recipe. And the turtle rescue photos are adorable.

  17. Such a delicious looking lunch dish! I love quinoa but have never had hearts of palm. I need to give them a try! Plus, that turtle rescue thing is awesome!

  18. What a wonderful combination. I love everything in it! Must try.

  19. Love the recipe! I’ll soon be back to eating lunch on my own and I totally know what you mean about it being my meal. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will for sure be making this recipe soon to rev up my normal Quinoa. And, oh my word do you and your sister look alike!!! That’s so cool!!!! LOVE the sea turtle rescue. My kids would LOVE that!!! Hmmmm…. did I use enough (!) ??? ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I get excited about quinoa salad too – looks soo yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. That is so cute, Aggie!! You and your sister look so much alike.

    I love that you toasted the quinoa, will have to try that!!

  22. I completely know where you’re coming from about lunch and being “all about me”. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our baby is off to kindergarten this year, so it will be the first fall in 10 years that I won’t have someone with me on my days at home. Not quite sure how I’m going to handle that! But…your salad looks awesome. Love garlic. And have yet to try toasting the quinoa, but it sounds delicious. (And COOL about the turtles!)

  23. Heart melted at that rescue portion of the post! What a nice project to be involved with! And your quinoa salad looks scrumptious, Aggie! Glad I stopped in … you made me smile and feel warm and fuzzy … and that’s a good thing!

  24. I love quinoa very much. Heart of Palms…. cool idea!

  25. Pingback: Quinoa, Apple and Almond Salad with Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette - Savory Simple