Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I think the first time I tried quinoa was five years ago – a co-worker brought in a salad that tasted very bland, and out the door went my interest in quinoa. My second quinoa experience was about a year later, and had pretty much the same result as the first. So, when a member of my book club brought this salad to one of our meetings about a year ago, I ‘knew’ I wouldn’t like it, but respectfully put a spoon on my plate. My first clue should have been the word “Mediterranean” because, frankly, the food of my people is very flavorful! I soon found myself putting more on my plate and pestering her for the recipe. This makes a great side, or a vegetarian main meal.

Surprisingly, quinoa is not a grain, though it has many of the same health benefits that whole grains do – heart health and reducing risk of Type 2 diabetes.

It is a member of the leafy green family of spinach and Swiss chard. Quinoa is very high in protein, and considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids found in complete proteins.
It is also high in magnesium and riboflavin (B2), which help to reduce migraines; manganese (promotes joint health); iron (tissue health); phosphorous (bone and tissue health); potassium (heart health); and, copper (antioxidant).
So I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do – your body, not to mention your taste buds, will thank you!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients
1 c quinoa
1-3/4 c water
½ tsp sea salt
¼ c toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds*
¼ c olive oil
¼ c lemon juice
3 tbsp chooped fresh mint
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 green onions, chopped
¼ c currants
1/3 c crumbled feta cheese

*my preference

Directions
Wash, rinse, and drain quinoa. Place in a 2-quart pot, add water and salt, bring to a boil, lower head and simmer with lid on until all water is absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). Do not stir the grain while it is cooking. Test for doneness by tilting pan to one side, making sure all of the water has been absorbed. Remove lid and let rest 5 to 10 minutes.

Dry toast nuts on a cooking sheet in oven about 10 minutes, tossing nuts once or twice, until they turn a light brown.

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint and parsley in a large bowl. Add onions, currants, feta cheese and nuts and toss. Slowly fold in quinoa, a little at a time. Toss well. Serve at room temperature.

Just try to stop eating this!

Resources
The World’s Healthiest Foods

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4 Responses to “Mediterranean Quinoa Salad”

  1. Jumana says:

    Great article! I just found some types is like to try. Now, HOW do u pronounce it?

  2. Reema says:

    Oh great, Denny – I am so excited you tried (and loved) this! Another great thing I found is it keeps fairly well so you don't *have* to gulp it all down in 2 days!

    Radford – I hope you had a chance to try it! I'm actually now interested to find other delicious quinoa recipes!

  3. TheRadford says:

    dude, i totally HEART quinoa, it's my new go-to, i'm so psyched for this recipe!

  4. Denny says:

    Okay, YUMMMMMMY!! Tried it last night…it was sooo easy…awesome flavor, addicting actually. We made a double batch to have lots of leftovers. Perfect vegetarian main course. We will definitely make this again and again 🙂

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