Place quinoa and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cover and soak quinoa for 6 to 8 hours. When ready to prepare salad, add 1/4 cup water to saucepan and place over high heat to bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes. Pour cooked quinoa onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread to a thin layer to cool (about 10 minutes).
While quinoa cooks and cools, heat a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and cook, tossing occasionally, until they are toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet with quinoa to cool.
Chop parsley and transfer to a large bowl with shallot and cheese. Add quinoa and pumpkin seeds and toss to combine. Stir in oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter. (Available February 2021.)