Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

At the beginning of most every week you will find me in the kitchen making this salad. It makes a great lunch on the go or side at dinner. I started making this recipe when a nutritionist I was talking to advised me to have more protein throughout the day. At the time I was going through a phase where I was not that into meat, I wasn’t a vegetarian but was having meat only a few times a week. That phase is behind me and I grew to love this salad as a staple. Quinoa is well known for its health benefits. It’s actually a seed and is incredibly high in protein. It is also gluten-free and high in fiber and iron. I’ve tried serving different quinoa recipes as a hot side but prefer quinoa as a cold salad. This salad is so fresh and full of flavour, but is better on day two when all of the flavours come to life!

 

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Ingredients:

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry quinoa
3 diced red bell peppers
1 cup thinly sliced green onion (white & green parts)
1/4 cup sliced pimento stuffed green olives
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use almost 3/4 of a cup because I love lemon juice!)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup or whole package of chopped fresh basil

Directions:

1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in quinoa and reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. The liquid should be absorbed and the quinoa should be tender, if not cook for 1-2 minutes more or I often take the pot off the stove, set aside and cover for 10 minutes. Make sure to take the lid off the quinoa and cool completely before transferring to a large serving bowl.

2. Whisk the oil, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Add the red pepper, green onions, olives, feta and freshly ground pepper (to taste) to the cooled quinoa. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss 25-30 times (yes I count my tosses! I have found this makes all the difference in the world for a perfectly mixed salad!) Garnish with fresh basil & serve!

This is a great go-to quinoa salad. I happen to like acidic tasting dishes, hold back some of the lemon zest and juice if that is not your thing. This salad lasts 2-3 days, make sure to hold back the basil and add daily so it doesn’t get soggy!

Hope you like this recipe!

Lv, Julie ♥

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