Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This recipe was inspired by a scrumptious salad I had at one of my favorite restaurants here in Grand Rapids called Marie Catrib's. I ate the salad, and vowed to come up with a recipe that tasted similar. This came really close! I made a light "vinagrette" to mix into this salad... and when I was done I couldn't help but pick at it all day!

I love Quinoa, it is a perfect grain to add protein and fiber... this dish is not only delicious, but extremely healthy as well. This salad can be a main course or a side dish.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
-serves 4-6-
(can be used as side or main dish!)

1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed

2 Cups Water

1 Cup chopped Cherry Tomatoes
1 Cup chopped Cucumber

1/2 Cup Chopped Carrot

1/2 Cup Red Onion, chopped
1/2 Can Garbanzo Beans, rinsed

1/2 Can Adzuki Beans, rinsed

20 Kalamata Olives, chopped

2 Tbsp minced Fresh Cilantro

1 Tbsp minced Fresh Mint
1-2 Tbsp minced Fresh Parsley

1/2 Cup crumbled Feta (more or less to taste)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a saucepan, bring the rinsed Quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Let cool to room temperature.

2. Chop cucumber, carrot, tomato, red onion, kalamata olives, mint, parsley, and cilantro, place in a bowl, and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, orange juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Gently mix the Quinoa in with your veggies. Drizzle your vinagrette and gently mix together. Mix the Feta in, or sprinkle on top.

4. Serve room temperature or slightly chilled. This is great on a bed of greens with pita chips on the side. Or mix in leftover chicken or steak. This can be made vegan by omitting the Feta.