I have to admit that I have had a hard time getting on the quinoa bandwagon. I think the issue was that I was eating it plain and only seasoned with salt and pepper…boring, bland, blah! I’ve recently come to the realization that quinoa is much better when you incorporate it with lots of fresh, flavorful ingredients.
With all the recent reports about the high amounts of arsenic in rice, I’ve been attempting to keep our family’s rice intake to a minimum. Quinoa is certainly a great substitute because it is a great source of protein, iron, and fiber. Quinoa is also a great sub for pasta as well.
I was originally planning on making a greek orzo salad to go along with Giada’s Tzatziki Salmon recipe last night. I realized that I had no orzo in the pantry and thought it would the perfect opportunity to sub in some quinoa. I found a Bobby Flay recipe for Greek Quinoa Salad and adjusted it a bit to my preferences. I was so pleased with the results! I think this greek quinoa salad will definitely be making it’s way into our side dish rotation. I’m so psyched to finally say bring on the quinoa!
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to the package
- ½ hothouse cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup kalamata olives, cut in half or kept whole (whatever is your preference)
- ½ cup crumbled feta (or use more or less based on your preference)
- 2 green onions (green parts only), sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Cook the quinoa according to the package's directions. Once cooked, place quinoa in a medium-sized serving bowl and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, start to make the Greek dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil and whisk together at the same time so that it emulsifies.
- Add the dressing to the cooled quinoa and mix until incorporated. Add in the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta, green onions, and parsley and continue to stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving
Source: Adapated from Bobby Flay