Quinoa Salad with Tomato, Corn, Cucumber and Lime Vinaigrette + a giveaway

Here in Nashville, local grocer, The Turnip Truck is doing a promotion in conjunction with several foodbloggers to raise awareness about their location in The Gulch, a newly-booming area of downtown Nashville. It’s a big deal for this area to have a nice grocery, particularly one that has a good selection of produce (much of it local and organic) as well as high-quality staples and a good selection of products sold in bulk. It means shoppers don’t have to schlep out to Green Hills or the next county to get these items. The Turnip Truck Urban Fare also has a really nice hot bar, cold bar, and deli case. It’s a pretty popular lunch spot for the people who work (and record, ahem, Ben Folds) in the area.

Anyway, they asked me to come in, check out the selection and come up with a recipe based on the ingredients I found in the store. This was, of course, only difficult because of having so many options. But I settled on this really light and refreshing quinoa salad with tomatoes, corn, and cucumber since I’ve been on a quest to make better use of quinoa as well as use my favorite summer vegetables (and fruit, if you want to be technical).


Not only is the quinoa sold in bulk (and for a great price), the vegetable broth I needed is also sold in bulk. In powder form! I’m very happy about this since I don’t use more than a cup at a time usually and don’t have a lot of room in my pantry. This powdered vegetable broth is cheap and tastes great.


Very, very excited to find this vegetable broth powder! And look at all those grains!

I was also happy to find organic, heirloom cherry tomatoes from Delvin Farms in the produce section. The store carries some conventional produce as well, but (pro tip alert)definitely be sure to stop by on Tuesdays and Thursdays when the Delvin shipments come in so you can get the best selection.

So, about the salad. It’s really good. Like I said, really refreshing and bright. Even Mini Eats liked it, as you can see from her photobombing my session here. Also, it’s really easy to make, though it does require a little advanced planning if you want it to be cold when you eat it.


Mini Eats decided the photo session was finished before I did.

But you don’t have to make it yourself to try it out; my salad will be available on the cold bar and in the deli case this Wednesday, July 18 at the Gulch location. So stop by and check it out and then tell me what you think. It’s even better with a little Noble Springs goat cheese crumbled on top (which, conveniently, you can also get at The Turnip Truck) or some avocado. Those of you who like spicier foods might want to add a little jalapeno to it, too.

Quinoa Salad with Tomato, Corn and Cucumber and Lime Vinaigrette
loosely based on a recipe from Serious Eats
serves 4-6

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup rinsed quinoa
1-2/3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped tomatoes from 2 medium tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup cooked corn, from 1 cob or frozen
1 cup diced cucumber (seeds and peel removed), from one medium cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion (optional)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Lime Vinaigrette
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice (from 1 large lime)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cumin

Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to onions and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add vegetable broth and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Cover the pan tightly with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Transfer cooked quinoa to a medium bowl and chill in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, to make the lime vinaigrette, add all ingredients to a small container with a tight lid and shake vigorously until mixed.

When the quinoa is cool, add the vinaigrette and stir well. Mix in the tomatoes, corn, cucumber, green onion, and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Optional: top with crumbles of cotija, queso fresco, or goat cheese or chunks of avocado.


*Unless it’s noted on the package, assume that the quinoa you’ve purchased is unrinsed. If you do not rinse it, you may get some residual saponins that will give it a bitter and unpleasant taste. Rinse vigorously for 1-2 minutes in a fine strainer or sieve or fill a bowl and massage the quinoa to clean it well and then drain through a cheesecloth or other straining utensil.

*To de-seed the cucumber, cut in lengthwise quarters and shear off the seed side.

Now, for the fun part: the giveaway! The Turnip Truck has offered to give one of my readers a $50 gift card for use at either of their locations. In addition to the great bulk food and produce selection, they have a great dairy case, an amazing selection of high-quality frozen foods, and carry a lot of local products such as Olive & Sinclair chocolate.  And so much more. To enter the contest:

1. Leave a (one) comment telling me the first thing you’d like to buy with your gift card? Kenny’s Farmhouse cheese? Marinated white beans from the cold bar? A Justin’s almond candy bar (highly recommended)? Beer? Vitamins? Nooch? Booch? Just about anything you can think of you’d need from a “natural market” is there. This comment is mandatory to enter.

For up to 3 additional entries, you can do the following. Leave a separate comment for each since every comment is an entry.

2. Follow @lesleyeats and @turniptruckwest on Twitter and tweet the following: “Enter to win a $50 gift card to @turniptruckwest from @lesleyeats! http://ow.ly/ccJfQ

3. “Like” Lesley Eats on Facebook. If you already do, just leave a comment saying that you do!

4. “Like” The Turnip Truck Urban Fare on Facebook. If you already do, just leave a comment saying that you do!

The contest is open from now until Monday, July 23 at 3pm CDT when I’ll choose the lucky reader at random from the entries. I will inform the winner via email that afternoon, so be sure to include a valid email address each time you comment! If I don’t receive a response from the winner within 48 hours, I will choose another winner. The winner will need to pick up the gift card at the Gulch location in Nashville at 321 12th Avenue South, so please make sure you are able to do so before entering the contest.

Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to commenter #73, NashvilleRN!

This entry was posted in Entrees, Giveaway, Recipes, Side Dishes. Bookmark the permalink.

127 Responses to Quinoa Salad with Tomato, Corn, Cucumber and Lime Vinaigrette + a giveaway

  1. Lacey says:

    The first thing I’ll buy is heirloom tomatoes. They’re so delicious but so expensive, that I’d have to splurge.

  2. Lacey says:

    I like you.

    I mean, for real and on Facebook.

  3. Lacey says:

    And I like TT Urban Fare on FB. Shockingly (or not) I haven’t been to this store yet. I”m an east sider and I pass the original store on my way home from work every day. I really do need to go check this one out though.

  4. kimu says:

    We already shop at the TT Gulch location usually, so I’d probably pick up the things we usually get – quinoa, wheatberries, goat cheese, etc. They have such a nice meat/fish section, it kind of makes me wish we were still eating meat/fish.

  5. Denice Heatherly says:

    The first thing I would buy at the Turnip Truck would be
    locally made kombucha – peach flavor! I love The Booch.

  6. Morgan says:

    I’d buy more quinoa to make this salad! I just made the decision last night to make a new quinoa salad every weekend to eat throughout the week for lunches (I made this last night, btw, and it was amazing: http://www.designsponge.com/2012/01/in-the-kitchen-with-gaby-dalkins-spicy-roasted-broccolini-quinoa-salad.html).

  7. Morgan says:

    I like Lesley on Facebook. But only because I have to……………………..



  8. Morgan says:

    Aaand I like the Turnip Truck Urban Fare on Facebook. Hoops: Consider them jumped through.

  9. Kira says:

    Whenever I’m at a Whole Foods/Turnip Truck/natural market type place, I HAVE to get some kombucha, so that would probably be the first thing I would buy.

  10. $50 would cover about 3 days of lunches for me at TT (as we call it at the Raven office), since we eat lunch there EVERY SINGLE DAY. That is not a joke.

    About 11:15 every day, either myself or one of my coworkers will IM and say “TT?” Then we all just kinda get up, walk out, and the game begins.

  11. Andrea says:

    Clearly, cheese. All the cheese.

  12. Adrien says:

    Man do I love me some Turnip Truck. My main go to there is the bulk spices. Those prices cannot be beat, and I love being able to get just enough to last me a few months, so everything is fresh in my pantry.

    Pretty sure my entire gift card could be spent on spices… and cheese, lots of cheese.

  13. Adrien says:

    I has tweeted :)

  14. The first thing I’d do is pig out on their hot bar. It’s so good and so much variety. Then I’d leave with a big hunk of Norwood from Kenny’s Cheese!

  15. I follow you both & I tweeted!

  16. I like Lesley Eats on Facebook!

  17. I like The Turnip Truck on Facebook!

  18. Linda Schlaich says:

    I would really love to buy some of the Herbal Answers Aloe Force Immune Support and the Enzymedica Digest Spectrum which were among the products featured at Saturday mornings class on “Good digestive health” by Jasmin Rosil.
    I would also love to try Navitas Naturals Superfood Snack, Cacao with Goji, 8-Ounce if/when Turnip Truck gets them.

  19. Linda Schlaich says:

    I “like” the Turnip Truck Urban Fare” on Facebook already!

  20. Liz says:

    I’d buy fancy bulk items that I either can’t or won’t (because of the exorbitant price) at Kroger. And, maybe I’d buy lunch for me and a friend!

  21. Liz says:

    I like you on Facebook, too.

  22. What a coincidence Lesley! My today’s post is also about Quinoa salad :)
    About the giveaway, I will buy local honey, kenny’s cheese and some of these and that :)

  23. Pam says:

    I would buy Kenny Cheese, my fav!

  24. Laura says:

    I already shop here too. The 1st thing I would buy, IF THEY HAVE IT, which they never seem to at the Gulch store, is jalapeño hummus. I have asked SO many times that they keep it stocked. I usually have to drive over the other store in order to get it. I could seriously eat it every day. And I’m too lazy to make it myself.

  25. Laura says:

    Also, I already like Lesley and Turnip Truck on FB. :)

  26. LindaDub says:

    Oh, I’d most definitely buy lunch from the hot bar/salad bar. Especially on a Wednesday, a.k.a. “Southern Day”. But then, it’s all about the cheese.

  27. LindaDub says:

    I already follow @lesleyeats and @turniptruckwest & I tweeted! http://goo.gl/fsBU8 Mama don’t facebook. :)

  28. i love turnip truck! i’d stock up on kenny’s cheese, their awesome homemade soups, all the teas i love, etc. i’d have a field day in there!

  29. i already like you on Facebook!

  30. Kelly says:

    I like you on FB!!

  31. Kelly says:

    And I already like Turnip Truck on FB!

  32. Megan Morris says:

    Well, I am pretty certain I would buy more cheese sandwiches, since I buy one every day. :) But I would also buy some of their quinoa since I have never had it before!

  33. Megan Morris says:

    I like you on Facebook (and in real life!).

  34. Megan Morris says:

    Aaaand I like the Turnip Truck on FB!

  35. Megan Morris says:

    And I tweeted. But it’s from my private account so only you can see it, Lesley. :)

  36. newscoma says:

    Soup. The entire gift card would be spent on the Turnip Truck’s soup selection.

  37. First I’d buy a jar of Justin’s Maple Almond Nut Butter.

  38. Heather Riney says:

    Great recipe and I would buy quinoa and a cinnamon buttermilk muffin…my weakness!!

  39. Heather Riney says:

    Oh, and I already liked Turnip Truck, and now I like you too :)

  40. Busy Mom says:

    The cheese. I’d buy all the cheese.

  41. Busy Mom says:

    I already be likin’ you on FB

  42. Heather Riney says:

    leaving the separate comment :) liked you on FB

  43. eden says:

    tofutti desserts would be what i would buy :)

  44. eden says:

    i liked lesley eats on facebook!

  45. eden says:

    i liked turnip truck on facebook!

  46. Bonnie says:

    I’m a cheese-a-holic, so probably some cheesy goodness….

  47. Bonnie says:

    I ‘liked’ Lesley Eats!

  48. James says:

    I’ve been eyeing the O&S Bacon Brittle…

  49. James says:

    Already like Urban Fare on FB.

  50. James says:

    Now like Lesley Eats on FB.

  51. Jessy says:

    I’d buy lots o’ cheese… Kenny’s and Noble Springs being my two favorites. Second would be the Ciao Bella gelato they have in the freezer section… the lemon flavor is so good in the summer, and the Tahitian vanilla tastes amazing any time!

  52. Jessy says:

    I like Lesley Eats on Facebook now!

  53. Jessy says:

    And I already liked Turnip Truck!

    (Apparently I’m too fast for WordPress though… just got a message saying I’m posting comments too quickly.)

  54. Samantha says:

    What I’d buy? Two words: hot bar.

  55. Samantha says:

    I like you. (On Facebook and in real life.)

  56. Samantha says:

    I also like the Turnip Truck, in real life and on that Book of Faces.

  57. Tabitha says:

    I would (happily) spend it on fresh juice, lunch from their hot bar and quinoa, probably, since I’m low on my supply.

  58. Tabitha says:

    Already follow you, duh. And tweeted. Double duh. #pagehit

  59. Tabitha says:

    Of course I like you.

  60. Lindsey says:

    I’d use the card to get acquainted with TT since I’ll be a new Nashvillian soon. I think I’d buy some cheese and beer. Just to ease the transition.

  61. Lindsey says:

    I already like you on FB.

  62. Lindsey says:

    And I tweeted ya.

  63. Lindsay says:

    I’d definitely browse the bulk section. Oh, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate. :)

  64. Lindsay says:

    And of course I like you on facebook!

  65. Ashley says:

    I would buy as much gluten free as I can!!!! Late July Chips, Local Honey….maybe $50.00 worth of the Doug Funny’s!! That’s a lot of juice! I LOVE Hatcher milk…the list could go on and on!

  66. Ashley says:

    my newest obsession is the Turnip Truck!

  67. Ashley says:

    I LOVE you on FB (if there was a LOVE button) lol

  68. Shauna R. says:

    I just liked TTUF.

  69. Ashley says:

    I tweeted!!!!!!

  70. Shauna R. says:

    And I’ve always liked Lesley eats! I would buy a nice mix of tomatoes since I’m not gardening this year.

  71. Wallace says:

    Beer, cheese, and chocolate.

  72. Nashvillern says:

    Kennys farmhouse cheese, noble springs goat cheese, fresh veggies, etc.
    Love that location!

  73. Janice S says:

    Noble Springs Goat Cheese and anything delvin farms!

  74. Janice S says:

    I like you, and your blog and your facebook page…

  75. Janice S says:

    I like Turnip Truck.

  76. Janice S says:

    I tweeted the link.

  77. Vivek says:

    I go to the turnip truck every week to buy chicken, so that’s what I’d use it for! And some local honey too…

  78. Wallace says:

    I already like you on FB.

  79. Wallace says:

    I liked Turnip Truck on FB.

  80. Natasha says:

    I would buy some of that Olive & Sinclair chocolate :)

  81. Natasha says:

    I already like you on FB :).

  82. Natasha says:

    I now like The Turnip Truck on FB…

  83. Chad says:

    Sumpin scrumptious for my girls: who knows? Sumpin scrumptious for me: beer. I like life in one part serendipity, one part constancy.

  84. newscoma says:

    I need some cheese bread from Turnip Truck. Like right now.

  85. Nat B says:

    The first thing I would buy would probably be some kind of cheese. Always gotta be cheese.

  86. Traciwilbur says:

    I would take myself out on a nice lunch date and maybe take something yummy home to the rest of the Wilburs.

  87. Traciwilbur says:

    Already followed — & tweeted!

  88. Traciwilbur says:

    Hi. I like you.

  89. Janice says:

    Beer, cheese and chocolate…some bulk spices too

  90. Janice says:

    I like lesley eats on facebook

  91. Janice says:

    I like Turnip truck urban fare on facebook

  92. val says:

    Definitely restock my spice rack with lovely bulk spices! And cheese, lots of cheese ;)

  93. val says:

    I have “liked” YOU on facebook!

  94. val says:

    And coincidentally also “liked” the Turnip Truck!

  95. Taylor says:

    I’d buy goji berries because I always want them but there too high priced.

  96. Lee Rogers says:

    Booch for sure.

  97. Laura D says:

    Some yummy cheese!

  98. Chris says:

    I’d buy some meats and vegetables for grilling and refill my spice rack.

  99. Jamie says:

    I’m pretty sure I like all of these already except for the TT Gulch because I get jealous when I see all the extra stuff they have. ;)

  100. Christy says:

    Chocolate! I would buy chocolate. And muffins.

  101. Christy says:

    And I like Lesley Eats on Facebook!

  102. Kim says:

    I would definitely buy Botanique shampoo and Organique conditioner by Himalaya. My favorites, and I can get them at Turnip Truck. Fentiman’s soda, organic meats, and some supplements. :)

  103. Melissa says:

    I would buy tomatoes. I love to slice a tomato and eat it, but those little dinky tomatoes from the grocery store rarely taste good enough to do this!

  104. Melissa says:

    Also I already like you on Facebook!

  105. Beth says:

    Cheese and chocolate, the staples of my diet ;-)

  106. Beth says:

    I like you on FB! (always have, always will)

  107. Beth says:

    I also “like” Turnip Truck

  108. Emily says:

    oh, I would totally buy some Kenny’s. The Aw-brie is my fave & Brett cringes when I want some.

    I wish they’d open a SubUrban Fare option. What a gorgeous bulk wall.

  109. Emily says:

    I like you on facebook already!

  110. Emily says:

    And now I like Turnip Truck!

  111. Angie says:

    Right this very minute it would have to be heirloom tomatoes … while they are in season, I eat as many as I possibly can. I made some yummy gazpacho last night.

  112. Angie says:

    I like you on Facebook :)

  113. Angie says:

    And I like TT Urban Fare.

  114. Crystal says:

    I would just hit the hot bar for tasty daily specials over and over if I won the gift card. No cooking for me!

  115. Crystal says:

    I already follow @lesleyeats on twitter.

  116. Crystal says:

    I already like LesleyEats on Facebook.

  117. Crystal says:

    And now I have liked them on Facebook too. All in under the deadline. Boo-Ya.

  118. Malia says:

    CHEESE! (followed closely by chocolate and beer)

  119. Allison says:

    I’ve always wanted to try their hot and cold bars!

  120. Juley says:

    I just discovered this gem in East Nashville! It’s so much more convenient than driving all the way to Hillsboro for groceries. I’d really love to stock up on kombucha drinks and local honey.

  121. Elizabeth E says:

    I’m not kidding – I’ll probably spend the $50 totally on cheese. Maybe throw a little wine and cheese party for some friends and I … yum!

  122. Elizabeth E says:

    I liked Turnip Truck Urban Fare on Facebook.

  123. Elizabeth E says:

    Now, I liked you, too. How have I not clicked that little “like” button before?!?