Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, over moderate heat 10 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water. Shake the sieve well to remove all moisture.
When dry, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Add the remaining salad ingredients and toss well. Serve on lettuce-lined plates, topped with avocado slices and optional cracked pepper garnish.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved