Print Posted 05/25/2017 in Ayurveda

Friday Foodie: Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion - Ayurvedic Diet & Recipes

Friday Foodie: Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion - Ayurvedic Diet & Recipes

Article by: John Immel

This article originally appeared here.

Effect: Alkalizing, Prana, Ojas, Rajasic
Meal: Lunch-Dinner
Recommended for: Spring, Summer
Type: Grains
Style: Western
Occasion: Dinner-party, Cleanse
Preparation: Boiled
Subtaste: Aromatic
Color: White, Green

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Experiences:Experiences are PersonalExperiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.

Pharmacological EffectsAbout Pharmacological EffectsThe list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.

Diuretic, Cholagogue, Burns-Toxins,Alterative, Flushes-Membranes,Hypolipidemic, Antihistamine, Anti-Inflammatory, Appetizer, Nutritive

Is Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion Good for Me?Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

ayurvedic perspective

Spring Waterworks

The songs of the birds, buzzing bees and blossoming daisies in spring tempt us outdoors. The sun warms our skin and creaky bones after a long winter. Coming out of winter, our bodies are making some big changes like shedding winter fat

The warmer weather indicates to your body that we won't need our extra February insulation, triggering a release the fats into your bloodstream. The fatty, thick, enriched blood bogs your circulatory system and respiratory tract. Enriched blood is called sweet blood in Ayurveda. It causes water retention and mucus congestion. You may notice more saliva this time of year, bad breath, a persistent sore throat, or flu like symptoms. Your lungs may feel heavy and the mind sluggish.

Spring Allergies: Myth or Fact?

Flowers bloom all summer long, yet in the spring a single grain of pollen triggers a flood of mucus. Pollen in the air is beyond our control. Heavy, fat-enriched blood predisposes us to more mucus production. Reducing fats and heavy foods during the spring can mitigate our response to pollen. Fat metabolism tends to aggravate the liver, increasing inflammation and immune sensitivity. Cilantro calms our immune sensitivity to pollen. It is hypoallergenic and cools the liver. 

Mint refreshes the mind, disperses dullness and lifts the fog. It breaks up mucus and fluid stagnation in the lungs, throat and sinuses. Mint and cilantro are both diuretics with the potential to drain excess water via the urinary tract. Raw onions have a cleansing effect on the liver and a laxative effect in the GI. Wild onions, a common weed, are a great addition to the spring time menu.

What is a Spring Fever?

"Spring Fever" is the new energy, vitality and vigor we associate with the warmer spring weather. Literally, the fever comes when spring weather warms your blood, dilating blood vessels in the arms and legs. As the sap starts to run in the maple trees, circulation improves to your extremities, effectively ending the season of winter hibernation. The arms enjoy the additional blood, and crave physical activities such as gardening or spring cleaning. Outdoor activities also ignites protein cravings. Quinoa, a grain, can satisfy protein cravings. It is a complete protein often appearing on super-foods lists. 

Extra blood in the extremities translates to less blood for digestion. Mint and onion stimulate a waning spring appetite and quinoa is easy to digest. On warm days, a release of fluid buildup from moving blood can cause the hands and feet to swell. As diaphoretics, mint and onion both cause sweating that cleanses the skin and disperses swelling in the hands and feet.


Raw onions may be too intense and pungent for sensitive digestive tracts. In that case saute onions until they are translucent. Mint, an inspiring herb, could potentially scatterbrain a Vata person. Mint and cilantro, both diuretics, may be too drying for Vata.

About Quinoa with Mint, Cilantro & Red Onion

A refreshing recipe with mint may be just what your body is asking for to combat spring-time allergies. It's also perfect to whip up for a spring picnic because it's light and won't spoil while you're out enjoying the sunshine. 

This dish essentially serves up a mix of grain with fresh, zesty herbs. Inspired by tabbouleh, it substitutes clearing mint for parsley, and light, protein rich quinoa for wheat. Raw onions add crunchy texture. Give this zesty recipe a try, or mix it up a little with your own ingredients and let us know how it goes!


Boil quinoa in 2c water 15 minutes or until soft. Do not over stir or over cook, to avoid quinoa turning to mush. Finely chop mint and onions. Gently mix all ingredients together. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.

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