cold greek quinoa salad

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 in Food

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

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, parsley, onion, olives and feta.
  3. 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.
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If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

18 Comments

  1. “A huge quinoa salad! I’m dreaming one up right now with olives, peppers, cucumbers and goat feta…mmmm”

    This is exactly what I wrote on the hodgson mill giveaway this morning!

    You read my mind!
    http://www.the-new-healthy.com/2012/06/hodgson-mill-giveaway.html

  2. Fabulous… Love it! I made one similar past year
    http://crumpetsandco.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/quinoa-greek-style/
    But your is much better and richer! Love it!

  3. I made Greek-themed lunches at least twice a week (due to my debilitating spanakopita addiction), so this is definitely going in the rotation. I know my family would love it too!

  4. Yum! This is going to sound so strange, but I have a quinoa greek salad recipe all done and waiting to be posted but I keep putting it off! I feel a bit weird posting it now so I’ll put it off some more, haha. Yours looks way better than mine anyways, I love the colors. Greek salad is awesome! We’ve been eating it, plain, with pasta, with quinoa for a couple days every week for weeks now!

  5. I love Greek food and quinoa is delicious!

    Thanks for this recipe, I’ll be doubling it to have for lunches next week for the fiancé and I!

    I like the idea of having some pita chips for dipping too.

  6. I love Greek food! Greece is definitely on my list of countries to see as well. I think the #1 on my current list (it changes based on where I live and what I get to check off!) would be Jordan. I just want to hum the Indiana Jones theme in front of Petra… :)

  7. I know what I’m making for dinner tonight. This looks great, as do all your recipes. Congrats too, on completing your walk – way to go!

  8. Not sure if this indicates a good photo, good recipe, or both, but I want to take a big bite out of that close up of this salad. I’ve been wanting to try quinoa and this looks like a good place to start. Yum!

  9. For some reason, I usually find quinoa recipes really unappealing… but this one is actually calling to me! I’ve been dying for some super-healthy recipes for lunch lately. This’ll do the trick :)

  10. What a great way to turn Greek salad into a more substantial meal!

    My dream travel destination has been Tokyo for quite a few years – and I’m finally going there in September!

  11. Yum! Makes me feel like I am already on that cruise.

  12. Cassie, I made this for dinner tonight, and it was glorious! So easy to make, and delicious. Definitely a keeper!

  13. Hello, This looks delicious! Just wondering if I was to prepare this on a sunday for lunch during the following week how long would it keep for in the fridge?

  14. Do you have an idea how many calories in each serving size?

    • Hi Rachel! I don’t count calories, but you can use this website to figure out the calories in any recipe: http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

      • This recipe is amazing, thank you for sharing. I am so exited about food prep Sundays now! I will research the calories with that site, thanks

  15. This is a lovely way to turn a salad into a full meal! I loved the idea of adding quinoa as the basic ingredient for the greek salad and the taste was amazing!

  16. I’m loving your blog Cassie! This recipe looks great and I am really looking forward to more like it in your new cookbook that I pre-ordered today. I also ordered 4 of you Greek Yogurt Cookbooks for Christmas gifts. I am very happy for all your success! :-)

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