Summery Greek Quinoa Salad
This recipe is easy to make, but it adds a unique (nutrient-dense) element to your meal. It tastes similar to the greek pasta salad dish you probably had as a kid--but it's a million times healthier. You'll actually feel good when you eat it and your guests will be happy that you served it. This dish is intended to serve 5 and takes approximately 30 minutes to prepare.
What You'll Need:
- Large boiling pot with tight fitting lid
- Large bowl for mixing
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Quinoa (any brand of quinoa should do, but I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 medium cucumber, rinsed and chopped into small 1-cm. pieces
- 3/4 cup Boar’s Head feta cheese (or your personal favorite brand of feta)
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 clove minced garlic (or approximately 1/2 tsp. from a jar)
- 1 lemon, cut in half to extract juice
Place a large pot onto the stove and add 2 1/2 cups of water. Turn heat to “high” and bring to boil. Then, add in quinoa, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and turn heat to “medium”. You’ll want to stir frequently so quinoa doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan; leave the lid on when you're not stirring. After 12-15 minutes, quinoa should be finished (and water absorbed). Once finished, transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add in extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, the juice from one lemon, and red wine vinegar. Set the dish aside and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
Chop cherry tomatoes in half. Chop kalamata olives in half (and pit them if they’re not pitted already). Chop cucumber into small (1 cm. cubed) pieces. Add tomatoes, olives, and cucumber into bowl of quinoa and mix into the quinoa. Finally, add in feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
This dish is best served after it has chilled (at least an hour). This should last up to 5 days if refrigerated and tightly covered. Enjoy as a side dish to chicken or salmon—or eat as an entrée!
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. It's full of fiber (with almost twice the amount as other grains), high in protein, and contains iron, lysine (essential for tissue growth and repair), magnesium, and vitamin B2. I love quinoa because it's so versatile and it compliments most main dishes. It's great as a side to chicken, salmon, or even burgers, and since it's high in protein, it's suitable as a stand-alone (vegetarian) option!