You know that icebreaker question, “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Yeah, well, my answer has been the same for as long as I can remember—Greece. A Greek vacation would have pretty much everything that makes me happy. Beautiful beaches and water, amazing historical sights, breathtaking scenery and incredible, healthy stupendous food.
You knew that last one was going to be in the list, didn’t you?
I don’t see a Greek vacation happening anytime in the foreseeable future but I will someday make it onto my well-researched two-week Greek Isles cruise (swoon). For now, I have to just try bring a little bit of the Greek lifestyle into my deeply American world. And the best way I know how to do that? Good wine and good food.
The stars of this salad are sweet tomatoes, creamy feta and salty olives, but the humble quinoa base deserves praise, too! Quinoa is such a magical little grain. It’s one of a handful of sources of complete vegan protein—which means that it provides all the amino acids that aren’t made in the human body (called the essential amino acids). Many vegan sources offer incomplete protein (meaning they have a few of the essential amino acids, but not all of them) but for your body to truly benefit from protein, you need the whole amino acid package. Normally you have to hit up an animal product to get all of the essential amino acids, but quinoa comes to the rescue and delivers them all in a delicious, nutty, chewy, vegan package. Yay, quinoa!
We made this recipe for dinner and then snacked on it for days for lunches. It was a great main dish for my bento boxes. This would also make an amazing contribution to a potluck or cookout. People will be asking for the recipe, I promise. We served ours with a nice pile of crunchy pita chips for dipping.
Cold Greek Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 loose cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 cup kalamata olives, halved
- 4 ounces feta, crumbled or cubed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- In a medium saucepan stir together quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, parsley, onion, olives and feta.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, dill, salt, pepper, honey and lemon juice. Pour over salad and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld.