Eating quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) has become the new superfood trend. Although new to most of us, it has actually been eaten for thousands of years! Ancient Inca warriors would eat quinoa for stamina! Quinoa is referred to as a grain, but it is actually a vegetable seed from a vegetable related to spinach and beets. It is a great gluten free option and is very high in protein!
I incorporated this seed into a Greek salad for the first time last summer. We had an overabundance of cherry tomatoes in our garden and I was running out of creative uses for them. I have since, made it several times and love it! I know that you will too!
You will need:
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups of halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/2 of an English cucumber, halved and diced into small pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, whole or slices
- handful of torn parsley
- feta cheese for sprinkling
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
To begin, rinse the quinoa in a strainer until the water runs clear. This will remove quinoa’s natural coating which can make it taste bitter. Now combine the quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the water begins to boil, turn the temperature down to the lowest setting and cover the pot. Allow quinoa to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then transfer quinoa to a bowl and fluff with fork. Allow to cool. Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk the oil, lemon, vinegar and oregano. When the quinoa has cooled add all of the ingredients and dressing. Toss and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recently, I discovered a great line of Infused Greek Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, from Nisos Importing called Evlogia. The lemon infused oil tastes incredible in this salad! Simply omit the oil and lemon in this recipe for a 1/4 cup of the infused oil instead. They can be found at- Fresh From The Farm 350 Donlands Avenue, Toronto ON