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LivingFood and DrinkQuinoa-Lentil Salad with Grilled Halloumi

Quinoa-Lentil Salad with Grilled Halloumi

by Susan Hanna

This recipe adapted from Food and Drink is a lovely vegetarian summer salad. Make the citrus dressing and use it to both marinate the halloumi cheese and dress the salad. Plate greens and mint and top with cooked couscous, lentils, tomatoes and cucumber. Grill halloumi and place on top of the salad mixture. Cook’s note: The original recipe called for additions of beet chips and grilled watermelon, which I omitted.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed citrus juice. I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard, which are additive-free. Check the halloumi to make sure it does not contain preservatives. Look for additive-free canned lentils or cook ½ cup (125 ml) dried lentils. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


Zesty citrus dressing

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) grated orange or lemon zest (from about 1 large fruit)
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) fresh orange or lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp (7 ml) Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • ¾ cup (175 ml) quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups (375 ml) water or unsalted vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • Zesty citrus dressing
  • 14 oz (395 g) halloumi or other grilling cheese
  • 4 cups (1 L) mixed salad greens
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1 cup (250 ml) drained, rinsed canned lentils
  • 1 cup (250 ml) grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper


Zesty citrus dressing

Whisk zest, juice, vinegar and mustard in a measuring cup or bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or refrigerate in a jar for up to 1 week. Makes just under 1 cup (250 ml).


  1. Toast quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Stir in water and ½ tsp (2 ml) salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow dish, gently fluffing with a fork. Let cool completely.
  2. Pour 2 tbsp (30 ml) zesty citrus dressing into a shallow dish to marinate halloumi. Pour 2 tbsp (30 ml) dressing over quinoa and toss gently to combine. Set remaining dressing aside.
  3. Drain liquid from halloumi and pat dry. Cut into eight strips, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Add to marinade in dish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. (If marinating longer than 1 hour, cover quinoa and reserved dressing and refrigerate until just before serving.)
  4. To serve, preheat barbecue grill or grill pan to medium-high.
  5. Combine greens and mint with half of the reserved dressing in a large bowl and toss to coat. Divide among serving bowls or plates. In the same bowl, combine quinoa, lentils, tomatoes, cucumbers and remaining dressing. Toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon on top of greens. Set aside.
  6. Remove halloumi from marinade and blot with paper towel. Place halloumi on oiled grates or grill pan and grill for about 1 minute per side, flipping carefully with a thin, metal spatula, or until grill-marked and cheese is slightly melted. Return to dish with marinade.
  7. Arrange grilled halloumi on top of salads.

Adapted from Food and Drink




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