Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
For those of you who haven’t cooked with quinoa, now is the time to start! It serves as a great replacement to rice or couscous and provides an excellent source of protein, fiber & iron. Quinoa has a pleasant texture that is neither soft nor crunchy, but a combination of both. The flavor of quinoa is quite mild, but it also acts as an absorbent to any ingredients added.

The Mediterranean Quinoa Salad pairs nicely as a side dish to chicken, sprinkled on a salad {salad on salad!} to give it a little more substance, or can also be enjoyed by itself. It was designed with my vegetarian friends in mind :)

As you’ll notice, this recipe does make A LOT. Perfect for a party—not so perfect if there’s only one or two of you. Keep in mind that 1 cup quinoa plus 2 cups liquid equals 3 cups cooked quinoa. This recipe makes 6 cups cooked quinoa and all the additional ingredients make enough to feed an army! Feel free to cut the recipe in half or alter it dependent on how much you are looking to make. 
XOXO….little j Y

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
*Makes about 10 cups

2 cups Organic Quinoa, rinsed & drained
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1 cucumber, peeled & diced {seeds removed with melon baller}
½ sweet onion, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
½ cup Calamata olives, pitted & sliced
1 cup feta, diced

Start by cooking the quinoa. If needed, rinse & drain quinoa before beginning. In a medium-sized pot, combine the quinoa and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine garbanzo beans, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, olives and quinoa. Add feta. Drizzle with vinaigrette dressing & stir. {I started by adding 1 cup of the dressing. However, you’ll find that the quinoa absorbs the dressing very quickly. Add more vinaigrette as desired. Use leftovers on a salad.}

Vinaigrette Dressing
*Makes 2 cups

½ cup lemon juice {about 3 small lemons}
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 ¼ extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, diced
2 packets Splenda {or about 1 tsp sugar}
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well with a hand blender. {If you do not have a hand blender, combine lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, garlic, Splenda and salt & pepper in a bowl. Whisk well. Slowly add in the oil while whisking and mix until combined.}


  1. I just love this salad, my favorite is the Mediterranean. Is that feta cheese that you added to it?


  2. Hi Naomi! Yes, it has feta cheese. Interesting blog you have. I didn't know quinoa could be used for so many different things! I'll have to try out one of the recipes. Thanks for stopping by :)