Quinoa is a healthy whole grain (well, a seed actually), of the amaranth family, cultivated mainly in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. One half cup of Quinoa is packed with 12 grams of protein. It fills you up and leaves you satisfied. You can find the quinoa in the rice section of your grocery store.
This was my husband's first time eating quinoa. He loves salad, and when he asked me what this was I told him it was a salad with Mediterranean flavors – quinoa, cucumbers, roma tomatoes, kalamata olives,, basil, baby peppers, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon, red wine vinegar, avocado and a little feta cheese. I'm pretty sure he was expecting a romaine salad he could pour blue cheese dressing on, (which is what I would do IF we weren't trying to eat healthier), and maybe next time I will serve this on a bed of lettuce. I am happy to report, there was a lot left over and he took it to work for lunch, and told me it tasted even better the second day. It really is a light refreshing salad. That only takes less than 15 minutes to make. Which would come in handy for a late night supper, if you only wanted something lite!
I cooked the quinoa according to the package, ( saying 1 1/2 cups water) but ended up adding about an extra cup of water, about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water. While the quinoa was cooking I chopped up the basil, baby peppers, cucumber, tomatoe, and avocado.
After the quinoa was finished cooking, I set aside to let it cool about 5 minutes. After it had cooled for a bit, I fluffed it with a for, and then added the chopped veggies, basil, avocado and olives with olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vineagar. Topped it with some feta cheese
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 to 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup basil
- 1/2 a lemon, squeezed
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. red wine vineagar
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 roma tomatoe, diced
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- 5 baby peppers, diced (they are not hot, so you do not need to seed them), you could use red, green or yellow bell pepper, I just had these in my fridge
- salt and fresh pepper, to taste
1. Fill a medium pot with 2 cups water. Add quinoa and salt to taste and bring to a boil . Reduce, heat to low, cover and simmer, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for another 5 minutes. Do not lift the lid. Fluff with a fork and set aside in a large mixing bowl to cool.
2. While the quinoa cools, dice all the vegetables. Add the avocado, basil, olives, cucumber, tomatoe, baby peppers to the cooled quinoa, and squeeze 1/2 lemon over it.
3. Toss with the olive oil and red wine vinegar, with the quinoa and veggies. Top with feta. Salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Serve with a wedge of lemon.
Makes about 6 cups.