Modern Lunch: Citrus, Shrimp and Quinoa Salad

Liven up your desk lunch with this vibrant, make-ahead salad.

Ladies who lunch has become a bit of a theme for me this winter, as I’ve been connecting with fellow food creatives here in Halifax.

Thanks to this warm and welcoming community I have been able to discover the best eats around the city, talented market vendors and unique local businesses to support. A few of us have even launched a cookbook club, which promises to be inspiring and absolutely delicious.

On a recent lunch date with the exceptionally talented Kelly Neil, we whipped up a salad from the brand new cookbook Modern Lunch with incredibly tasty results. Read on for more about this book, plus the recipe for a Citrus, Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Feta.

Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal is an absolutely brilliant cookbook from Canadian author Allison Day. We already know and love Allison from Whole Bowls and Purely Pumpkin, two excellent cookbooks that are extremely dogeared in my home.

I didn’t realize a book devoted to lunch of all sorts was missing from my cookbook collection, but now I understand. Honestly, sign me up for Allison’s ‘Modern Lunch Club’ because lunch is now my new favourite meal. Each recipe in this cookbook feels globally inspired and yet lovingly curated for the home cook.

I’ve already served up Chicken and Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Peanut Butter Vinaigrette, which was just what my tired taste buds needed in February. Also highly memorable was a tray of Allison’s Sheet Pan Persian Lemon Chicken – a dish with maximum flavour and minimal effort.

Bookmarked to liven up our lunches very soon is a massive Chopped Thai Salad and a Rustic Spelt Quiche with Asparagus and New Potatoes. I’m thinking that would be perfect for Easter brunch.

Be sure to check out Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal. It’s brimming with inspiration, features super smart recipes and is an absolutely beautiful cookbook.

Today’s quinoa salad is a great make-ahead meal and travels well, so don’t count it out for an office or school lunch. I find it’s also an ideal dish to help us transition into spring. It would also be excellent with asparagus, so keep it on repeat for the next few months.

My friend Kelly whipped up a refreshing mocktail with Earl Grey tea, honey syrup and fresh grapefruit juice for us to enjoy with this salad; you can find the recipe video here.

Lastly, I added slices of preserved lemon, so if you have a jar on hand, be sure to add a few on top. You find the salad is very adaptable, so make the recipe your own.

Citrus, Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Feta

This satisfying citrus salad combines sharp grapefruit, clementine, and lime, along with shrimp, quinoa, and feta for a fresh and vibrant lunch. If you don’t like shrimp, skip it or use thin slices of medium-rare steak instead. For the seafood lovers, pair the salad with fresh, seared scallops.
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Course: Salads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Gluten-free
Essential Ingredient: Shrimp
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 408kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 16 medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or smoked paprika
  • 2 grapefruit cold, peeled and sliced into rounds or segmented
  • 2 clementines cold, peeled and segmented
  • 4 oz feta crumbled
  • 12 Moroccan Kalamata olives or dry-cured, in either case - pitted and chopped
  • 1 lime sliced


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. For the quinoa, to a medium saucepan, add the water and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl.
  • For the shrimp, on a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the shrimp with the oil, salt, and chipotle powder or smoked paprika. Roast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are bright pink. Add to the bowl with the quinoa, along with the grapefruit, clementine, feta, and olives. Gently toss to combine.
  • If you are eating immediately, divide the salad between plates or bowls, top with the lime slices, and serve. If you are taking this to go, add a portion of the salad to a container, top with some lime slices, seal, and refrigerate until you are ready to take it with you. When you get to work, keep it chilled in the refrigerator or with a cooler pack in your bag until lunchtime. To serve, season with lime and enjoy.


Excerpted from Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal by Allison Day. Copyright © 2019 Allison Day. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 990mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1600IU | Vitamin C: 62.3mg | Calcium: 248mg | Iron: 3mg

Images created in partnership with my fellow foodie friend, Kelly of Kelly Neil Photography. Thanks, Kelly!

Recipe excerpted from Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal by Allison Day. Copyright © 2019 Allison Day. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. I’m excited to try this recipe soon! I love quinoa and eat it several times a week and shrimp is also a favorite around our house!

  2. Frederique says

    OMG! I bring lunch to work everyday and was yearning for something new! This sounds absolutely divine, and it caters to the grain-free lifestyle! Do you think I could food prep this and have all 4 portions for me for a monday to thursday lunch I made the sunday? or would you leave all the parts apart and mix it daily as needed?

  3. Hello,

    I would really like to try this recipe.
    I am asking for some help. I really do like to eat shrimp, but am at a loss to know what type to buy. There are many brands on the market, but I hesitate to purchase fish and seafood from China and Vietnam, also other Asian countries. Maybe some of them are OK. Help please, as to the best brand to buy. Thank you.

  4. I love this recipe!

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