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The easy-to-make quinoa salad that Rens Kroes swears by on her busiest nights


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Photo: Jenna Cantagallo for Well+Good
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Most kids don’t grow up asking their parents for tofu, tahini, seaweed, and bee pollen. But then again, Rens Kroes was not most kids. Born and raised in Friesland, a small town in the Netherlands, her grandfather was an organic farmer, her grandmother was an herbalist, and her mom became a nutritionist. Needless to say, Kroes inherited her family’s interest in healthy habits as well. (And you probably recognize her sister, Victoria’s Secret model Doutzen Kroes.)
rens kroes
Photo: Fair Winds Press

“I was always aware of healthy foods growing up, but when I came to New York [in my early 20s], I was even more inspired by all the smoothies, green juices, and raw foods,” she says. After living in the States for a brief stint, she returned home, this time armed with an invigorated passion for wellness, and started blogging for Glamour Netherlands about how to eat healthy when you lead an uber-active life.

“The column just went viral,” she remembers. “People loved the recipes and I also created food schedules, suggesting what to eat for days when you’re super-busy, feeling lazy, or needing more energy.” She penned a book, Power Food, which quickly became a best-seller and is finally being released stateside in November.

“I love the word ‘power,'” she says, on how she came up with the book’s concept. “It fits me because I love to work out and have a busy lifestyle. I want to show people it’s not an obligation to eat healthy or something —it’s fun!” Her philosophy is simple: cooking with whole foods and no refined sugar or cow’s milk (though she does love goat’s milk, which she says is easier to digest).

Because November is just too far away to wait for her recipes, Kroes is sharing one exclusively with Well+Good now. The dish she’s serving up—a supercharged quinoa salad—is her go-to dinner when she doesn’t want to spend a ton of time cooking. (Sound familiar?)

Keep reading for Rens Kroes’ quinoa salad recipe.

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rens kroes quinoa salad
Photo: Rens Kroes

Quinoa Salad

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cup water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
3/4 cucumber
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
1 spring onion
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp chopped olives
1 cup crumbled feta
3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
Small handful arugula
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve. Add to a saucepan along with the water and bouillon. Cover, and cook according to package directions until tender, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

2. Chop the cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, and onions into small pieces and press the garlic using a garlic press.

3. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa with the vegetables, garlic, olives, feta, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the lemon juice and olive oil.

4. Mix well using a spoon. Finally, add the arugula. The salad can be served immediately or stored in the fridge for later.

Excerpted from Power Food by Rens Kroes.

Looking for more easy recipe ideas? These 10 recipes can all be made in 15-minutes or less. And if you’re stuck in a breakfast rut, check out these 35 high-protein healthy breakfasts ideas that aren’t smoothies.

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