BLT-A Quinoa Salad

A BLT is a great thing. Traditionally it is served between 2 pieces of bread. The same ingredients are delish in pasta too, as Vanderbilt Wife does in her BLC Pasta Salad. *Hi* Jessie, I am your Secret Recipe Club pal this month. Surprise! Your pasta looks awesome and I have changed it up a bit. Instead of pasta I am using gluten free quinoa and instead of cucumber I am using something else green….creamy avocado.

Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes


Jessie’s blog was my treat for the ever growing and  super fun Secret Recipe Club. This is a food blogger event in which we are given the name of a blog and we create a recipe based off something in their recipe box. Participants need to keep the info secret until the reveal day. Thanks to Amanda’s Cookin’ for hosting this event. Last month I made a gluten free Peach Sour Cream Walnut Cake.

This month I opted for savory….with a few sweets on the side. Blueberry juice makes a big sweet splash.


Blueberry juice with ice cubes in jar on bandanas


And juicy watermelon is always a hit!


Summer Picnic BBQ with fresh watermelon on blue bandana


The salad I am sharing is simple and is great for backyard entertaining or for meals out of the house. Pack it up in your mason jar and off you go. The jar is also a fun way to serve guests. This is a wonderful recipe for outdoor BBQ’s and picnics.


Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes


The quinoa grain has been super popular these days. Folks around the web are serving it up hot, cold and everywhere in between. It is a complete protein and is gluten free. It also comes in a lot of pretty colors. Remember my Wild Salmon with Basil Aioli Sauce? For that recipe I used black quinoa. The white grain used in this salad has a slightly more mild flavor.

You could use any color though. Quinoa even grows in a beautiful shade of red.


Bright summer tomatoes on blog


I can never get over how beautiful cherry tomatoes are. They come in so many vibrant shades or yellow, orange and red. They burst with flavor in the summer months.


Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes


To satisfy vegan friends you can leave out the feta cheese and use little soy bacon bits or veggie bacon.


Micro Greens over quinoa on white plates with cherry tomatoes


At the bottom of this post are the other participants in this club. You can also join us in the fun…the more the merrier! Adaptations and creativity are encouraged. This is a great way to get involved with our food blog community.



How do you like to prepare quinoa?

Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes


For Recipe Details Click Here

Quinoa Salad Recipe Links

Secret Recipe Club July 2011




~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

114 thoughts on “BLT-A Quinoa Salad

  1. Marla, I am about to do the final edit on my secret recipe club post…and hit publish!

    You beat me to it. I was scared to publish early based on all those emails we got…haha!

    Your photos are gorgeous, as usual. It makes me want to have a picnic, have watermelon (I just did actually), and have some of those great delicate lovely greens laying there.


  2. p.s. I am trying to figure out what code and where to paste it to get the linkup thingey.

    I tried inserting the code into my wordpress compose screen and that wasn’t working and I don’t know where else to insert it in the post.

    It’s the little tech details like this that will drive me batty 🙂

    1. Averie, you need to add the code to your html editor. When you preview the post you will not see anything. After you publish you will find the link up is attached. Confusing I know. Can’t wait to see what you have added to the SRC 🙂

  3. Mmm, I love cherry tomatoes – especially the multi colored packages you can grab. This sounds amazing, I’m all about salads in the summer (okay, I’m all about salads year-round!). And that blueberry juice sounds SO refreshing right now.

  4. What a tasty salad, Marla! You know how much I love quinoa, so this is right up my alley. Your styling and photos are simply stunning – I want to sit down at that picnic table.

  5. Marla, this salad is fantastic. Fresh, healthy and, I’m sure, crazy delicious! Love the ingredients and avocado and quinoa makes everything a little bit better.

  6. Marla, your photos are so gorgeous with the sunlight dappling through! And this salad looks fantastic…quinoa really makes a delicious salad, especially paired with all those veggies!

    1. Faith, these days I have moved all my photography outdoors. I always use natural light but I am in love with the deeper shadows and bright sunlight that peek in. Really sets the mood for the summer BBQ’s and picnics. glad you like this quinoa!

  7. Love the colors! Just beautiful. I have never prepared quinoa but intend to do it. Your salad looks wonderful. Great SRC entry.

    1. Thanks Kate! I had lots of fun with this one. The SRC is so fun. I love meeting new bloggers & browsing through their blogs and recipes.

    1. Sommer, we love those micro greens. They taste great & add so much to the presentation of a dish. Glad to hear you are also a fan of quinoa!

  8. That’s the HAPPIEST Quinoa Salad I ever did see!
    Everything YOU make is HAPPY!
    I have never heard of toasting the quinoa before cooking! GENIUS!
    Love that blackberry juice too!
    Blackberries are getting ready to POP on Bainbridge Island!
    Printing this recipe…and PINNING of course!
    I’m obsessed with PINNING your FOOD! ;o)
    Sometimes I cook my quinoa in low~sodium chicken broth…or veggie broth.
    Gives it a good kick of flavor.
    We LOVE quinoa around here!
    Makes my hub very happy!
    You make me HAPPY!
    ENJOY the day!

  9. What a gorgeous salad! I think I have some quinoa in my pantry just waiting for this recipe! Excellent selection for the SRC!

  10. Great photos!! I’ve never tried quinoa, but I’m definitely going to! Your dish looks like it turned out great! Wish I could grab a fork and dig in 🙂

  11. Marla, what a perfect summer quinoa salad to make for this month’s event. Love your change-ups and your gorgeous photos! Hope you are well.

  12. Oh wow – this looks amazing! Your photos are just stunning – I’ve only tried the red variety of quinoa, but I’m definitely open to trying the others!

  13. What a beautiful salad! We love quinoa here, I think I found another dish on the blog hop to make for dinner this week!

  14. That looks so yummy. Actually everything on your table looks great, it makes me want to go outside and have a picnic 😀 Beautiful pictures as always. I love all the flavors in your salad, plus those cherry tomatoes are so beautiful! I love them so much too, can’t wait to get some from our farmers market, they come in all kinds of beautiful colors and shapes 😀

  15. Wow, your quinoa salad looks terrific, and perfect for summer! I’m a vegetarian, so I’d probably just skip the bacon altogether. I’m crazy for quinoa.

    P.s. Thank you very much for including my quinoa tabbouleh recipe in your recipe links!

  16. Absolutely stellar photos. The sun streaming through the cherry tomatoes in the 1/2 pint jar made me stop in my tracks. (Or browser…) Great recipe, great ideas, great fun!

  17. Oh my gosh, what a great dish to make with quinoa! I am still a quinoa noob so I am always looking for more things to do with it.
    Thanks for stopping by BFB! It’s great being in SRC and learning about so many new blogs every month!

  18. I love that you switched out quinoa for the pasta – I’m trying to get more vegetarian protein into my 5yo and I’m hoping she’ll go for quinoa. As always your photos are stunning! I would love to peer over your shoulder as you style your sessions 😉 Stopping by from SRC.

  19. this looks like a wonderful picnic meal. This is exactly the kind of food I love to eat. Your photos are always vibrant and pay reverence to the fresh produce. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    1. It is all about that fresh produce & vibrancy. Those do need to take center stage in every meal. Thanks for your sweet compliments 🙂

  20. Ooooh, that sounds so good! I just got some cherry Sungold tomatoes in my CSA that would be delicious in this recipe- I must make it!

  21. Ooo, love your changes to Jessie’s recipe for the SRC. This is perfect and I think even my kids might eat quinoa with these ingredients!

  22. I absolutely love what you did with this one! What an excellent SRC post… and in addition your photos are positively stunning. This one is now on our short list!! Nicely done!

    1. Grace *chuckle* you always crack me up girl! Yeah, no one would probably know what the heck you were talking about if you asked for that. Except for me 😉

  23. What a fun way to change up the recipe. Both the pasta version and your salad version sound great. Love the pictures. You really captured the summer sunshine.

  24. Hmmm…. toasting the quinoa. I have never tried (or thought) of that. I will have to give it a try.
    This recipe looks fab.

  25. I love your blog; it’s amazing and your photography is beautiful. These pictures are incredible and I love your cherry tomatoes…they’re my favorite. What a wonderful recipe and loving the gluten-free goodness in each bite!

  26. I made a deconstructed version of this over the weekend, without mixing the dressing, quinoa, etc. It was delicious! My fiance and I LOVED it! Thanks, Marla 🙂

    1. Melissa, yay I am so happy you guys loved this recipe. I am thinking I need to make some more for lunch today. Thanks for spreading the happiness 🙂

      1. I’m thinking this would make a very pretty/tasty layer salad as well. I’ll let you know if I try it!

  27. Marla, I just want to say that it really makes me smile that a blog with a reputation as amazing as yours, and a readership that many of us only strive for, is a part of this very quickly growing Secret Recipe Club. It just makes me so happy. And your photos are just gorgeous.

    I’ll stop gushing now. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Amy, you are soooo sweet 🙂 I love the whole idea of the Secret Recipe Club. Such a fun way to meet so many new blogger pals and get some great new recipes along the way. Glad we are in it together! xo

  28. This is so beautiful! Marla your photos are such a work of art girl! I love quinoa. I’ve only made two things with it so far, but both were delicious. And it’s so easy to prepare, not finicky like rice can be 😛 Thanks for your kind words about the SRC!

      1. I used a slightly different dressing (just my regular basic vinaigrette recipe – oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard) and then tossed it with the quinoa, pepper bacon, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, thinly sliced cukes, and baby greens. So good!!!!! Thanks again for the recipe, it was awesome!

        1. Sara, love your adaptations! The crunchy cucumber is something I need to do next time I make this & the pepper bacon sounds yummy. Also your homemade vinaigrette. Can you bring some here for lunch please 😉

  29. After seeing this mentioned on, I made this for dinner last night and it received rave reviews. I used sauteed leeks because I couldn’t get green onions, and skipped the feta, and my two-person household loved it! Great recipe — thank you, Marla.

  30. Pingback: BLTA (Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avacado) Quinoa Salad « Definitely Not Rabbit Food
  31. Marla, this recipe looks and sounds amazing! What a delicious combination! I love how you toss the avocado in the lemon juice first. Great idea! Isn’t it funny that everything we make has a very likely potential of becoming a lunchbox idea? 😉

    Also, where’d you get those 8oz. rounded Ball jars? They’re adorable! 😉

  32. Just made this for dinner last night–so fantastic!! I didn’t have garlic salt so I used garlic powder and salt; probably will omit the salt next time since there’s plenty of that from the bacon and feta. I also added some garlic scapes from the CSA share I picked up that night. This is definitely going in my regular rotation–easy, and so, so flavorful. Thanks!!

  33. I’ve made this recipe a couple times and it is like a sympathy of flavors in my mouth. Thanks for this awesome recipe! 😀