Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Yum

This crowd-pleasing Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is loaded with quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, purple onion, red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and lots of fresh basil.  It makes a delicious light lunch or side salad to serve at barbecues and potlucks.  

mediterranean-quinoa-salad

This healthy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad embodies fresh Mediterranean flavors including garbanzo beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, purple onion, red bell peppers, artichoke herts, kalamata olives and lots of fresh basil    It’s light and delicious and is perfect for summer dining alfresco.

mediterranean-quinoa-salad

I know some people aren’t fond of quinoa.  It’s either the texture or the flavor.  Sometimes it’s both.  I happen to really love quinoa, and make a large pot up at least once a week.  I’ll add it to soups, salads, and I especially love it for breakfast with  eggs.

mediterranean-quinoa-saladEven if you aren’t fond of quioa, I really hope you give this easy quinoa salad recipe a try.  It’s loaded with such a great combo of flavors and nutritional perks.  I think it just might change your mind about things.

mediterranean-quinoa-salad

What’s the difference between red and white quinoa? According to Livestrong – red quinoa has slightly less protein than the pale quinoa with 5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup compared to 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup for the pale (or golden) quinoa.

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But…. red quinoa trumps the golden quinoa by providing double the amount of fiber per 1/4 cup with 5 grams of fiber, compared to the 2 grams of fiber that the golden quinoa provides.

This healthy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is loaded with extras and tossed lightly with my everyday favorite vinaigrette.

Mediterranean-quinoa-salad

This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad makes a meal of its own, but it ralso makes a great side dish for chicken or fish.  It’s erfect for backyard parties and BBQ’s (can’t wait for the warmer weather!)

~ Deb

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 12-14 heirloom or regular cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 12 - 14 kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup vinaigrette
For the Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse under cold water for just a minute.
  2. Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 15 - 18 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let set in the pan for about 5 minutes then fluff with a fork or spoon.
  5. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl or cookie sheet covered with wax paper and place in the refrigerator to cool.
  6. Place all of the prepared ingredients and the cooled quinoa in a large bowl.
  7. Add the vinaigrette and lightly toss to incorporate.
  8. Chill before serving. Serve with extra vinaigrette if desired.
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a mason jar. With the lid tightly sealed, shake until the ingredients are completely blended together.

2 Responses to “Mediterranean Quinoa Salad”

  1. Diane — August 27, 2017 @ 4:07 am (#)

    This recipe looks delicious! But I’m curious — could you tell me why distilled water is required rather than tap water? Can you notice the difference in the taste of the salad, or do you feel it is a healthier choice?

    Thanks!

    • Deborah — August 29, 2017 @ 5:18 am (#)

      Hi Diane – I removed “distilled” from the recipe. I use bottled water to cook with (typically spring water – I didn’t mean to type “distilled”). Thank you for pointing it out!!

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