Food & Drink Magazine

Cold Quinoa and Tuna Salad: Hot Weather, Cold Salad

By Mimiavocado


I can’t remember having weather this crazy since I moved to Southern California in 1977.   There has been a hurricane off the coast of Mexico to the south,  and the weather here in San Diego has been very, very hot.   Not the normal hot of September, but a blistering hot that affects the coastal towns as well as the normally toasty inland areas.  Not a dry heat either, but humid and heavy.   105 degrees with high humidity is not much fun….and it’s only 10 degrees cooler at the beach 20 miles to our west.

We’ve been staying inside, grateful that we finally had air conditioning installed a few years ago.  When we do go outside we open the door and close it as quickly as we can…there is such a huge difference between the oven-like temperatures outside and comfortable coolness inside.  It reminds me of living in the northeast, especially during college, when the temperatures outside could be way below zero in the winter.   In a way, it feels “like home” to be sequestered inside.   The only problem is that I don’t want to cook anything, or turn on the oven and warm up the kitchen.

I cooked up a whole bag of Bob’s Red Mill Tricolor Quinoa a few days ago,and used it to improvise some cold salads this week.   Any cold veggies, leftover meats,  cold cuts, or fruits can be made into a tasty salad if you have a nice bowl of chilled cooked quinoa in the fridge.   Just follow the instructions on the package….think of it as you would rice or pasta…but it’s full of protein…very healthy.  Today’s version was a refreshing  Quinoa and Tuna Salad.



Big rain clouds have been wafting over the ranch, due to that tropical storm to the south of us.  We’re lucky we didn’t experience the damaging winds that hit San Diego yesterday.  Some rain fell on the avocado trees, but not enough to cool down the air or give us any respite from irrigation.

You might wonder how the avocados are doing in this heat.   As long as The Farmer keeps the trees irrigated so the roots can feed the tree without drawing salt from the soil up into the tree,  the avocados are fine.  Most of the avocados are sheltered under the leaves, and won’t get sunburned.

strange clouds

Later in the day I was able to go outside and enjoy the beautiful cloud formations.  The sky over our farm reminded me of the ceiling on a European church…beautiful blue with soft, muted colors in the clouds.


As the blazing sun was setting,  I waited for the cooler evening air to replace the blistering heat.  It never really did cool off, as the humidity from the hurricane held the heat like a heavy blanket.   The clouds changed color as the sun disappeared.


Today was just as hot as yesterday,  and as I was writing this post our power shut down.   Loss of power on a farm can be scary…our water system depends on electricity to operate.  We’re grateful that the power came back on in about two hours, and all is well.   If the weatherman is correct, we’ll be 10 degrees cooler tomorrow!

The recipe?  Oh…I almost forgot!  Here it is:

Cold Quinoa and Tuna Salad


1-2 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1/2 cucumber, chopped

1 can albacore tuna packed in water, drained

3 tablespoons good mayonnaise (or greek yogurt)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

3 cups cooked quinoa


Chop the vegetables.  Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoning.  Mix well.  Fold in the cooked quinoa.  Chill in the fridge and serve on greens with fresh avocado.

Disclaimer:   I was not compensated for this post.  Bob’s Red Mill sent me a bag of Tricolor Quinoa to sample, and I used it in this recipe.  All opinions are mine.

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