I’ve made it pretty plain in recent weeks that I am a huge fan of quinoa. It is an affordable, protein-packed grain (well, technically it’s a seed) that can be added to all sorts of meals for added nutrition and texture! It is perfect for people on gluten-free or meatless diets, OR just regular Janes like myself (no food allergies here… just a love for delicious, healthy ingredients!) What’s not to love about that? Recently, I added it to chili in place of ground beef, and that was a big hit with my family and friends. In fact, I’m making it again tonight because I’m too lazy to defrost ground beef.
But another way I’ve been dying to use quinoa is in cold salads. What better way to make a healthy salad into a filling meal than to add the power of complete protein? So I threw together this amazing Greek salad over the weekend and tossed in cooked red quinoa.
The salad was so fresh, crunchy, and bright-tasting! I used cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, orange bell pepper, green onion, and of course FETA cheese! (No Greek salad is complete without it.) And we tossed it in a tangy herb vinaigrette that brought it all together perfectly. SO good!
I actually made this especially for my mother-in-law for her birthday lunch. She’d been wanting to try quinoa for a long time, and she also loves Greek salads. And even with our already-high expectations, we were both pleasantly surprised by this dish. It was right up our alley!
And surprise surprise, my baby loved it too! (But that doesn’t really surprise you, does it? Piggy that she is.)
It’s super fresh and simple. You can chop up the veggies and whisk up the vinaigrette during the 14 minutes it takes the quinoa to steam.
Even better if you can enjoy it out on your patio! (We are finally getting some warmer temperatures in Arkansas. My little Vitamin-D-deprived body is so starved for some sunshine. Bring it on!!)
Here is the printable. Enjoy enjoy! Your body will definitely thank you. 😉
Quinoa Greek Salad
This scrumptious salad is packed with fresh veggies and plenty of complete protein, thanks to red quinoa. A perfect meal to enjoy outdoors!
Author: Carissa Casey | prettyhungryblog.com
- 2 C. cooked quinoa (1/2 C. uncooked + 1 C. broth or water)
- ½ orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ hothouse (or English) cucumber (cubed)
- 1 C. cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 Tbsp. minced green onion
- 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh basil
- 1 tsp. chopped, fresh oregano
- 2-3 oz. crumbled Feta cheese
- ¼ C. extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ C. apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Wash all vegetables.
- Measure out ½ C. quinoa and pour into a fine sieve. Run under cold water to thoroughly rinse quinoa (to remove bitter coating.)
- Transfer quinoa to a saucepan and pour 1 C. broth or water over it. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 14 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, chop all vegetables and herbs and toss together in a medium/large bowl.
- In a separate measuring cup, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
- When 14 minutes are up, remove lid from quinoa and fluff with a fork. If any liquid remains, allow quinoa to simmer with the lid off for 1-3 more minutes, then attempt to fluff again. Spread cooked quinoa onto a plate to cool. When cool, add quinoa to salad bowl and toss lightly. Pour in most of the dressing, tossing to evenly coat salad ingredients. Add the rest of the dressing only if needed.
- Add crumbled feta last, and lightly toss to incorporate it. Garnish each bowl with chopped herbs and a little extra feta, if desired.