Quinoa is an ancient seed from South America. When cooked, it takes on a mild nutty flavor. Although it is technically not a grain, it cooks similarly and can be substituted in many recipes if you’re looking for a healthier alternative. Quinoa is rich in protein, potassium, iron, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
When cooked, the seed expands 4 times it’s size. Thus, 1 cup of dry quinoa yields 4 cups cooked. The usual recommendation is to soak and rinse quinoa before beginning the cooking process. However, many brands are now pre rinsing their quinoa, which is such a time saver. Quinoa preparation is very easy. Combine 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water or broth and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 15 minutes. You can also refer to package cooking instructions as a guide.
In this recipe, I combined cooked and cooled quinoa with crisp vegetables, feta cheese, and herbs. This results in a delicious combination of Mediterranean flavors. I am a sucker for cold and refreshing salads, especially during the hot summer months. I add feta cheese and a yummy herb lemon vinaigrette to this dish, making it one of my go-to’s. This recipe is incredibly easy to whip up and a true crowd pleaser! Make it at your next BBQ or prepare on a Sunday to eat throughout the week for lunch. The flavors are even better the next day.
- 4 cups of cooked and cooled quinoa (1 cup of dry quinoa)
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 persian cucumbers, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 small bunch parsley, stems removed and chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Herb Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Combine cooked and cooled quinoa with the next 7 ingredients, through parsley. Toss with herb lemon vinaigrette and add crumbled feta. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
Herb Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe: Combine the juice of 2 small lemons, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp fresh chopped dill, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.