Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I love the simplicity of grain salads. They can be made in large quantities ahead of time and eaten throughout the week. It makes lunchtime a little easier and you are still guaranteed a flavorful and nutritious meal.

I chose to use quinoa because it cooks up quickly and it has a great protein profile; however, any grain would work well here - bulgur, couscous (so nice they named it twice), rice, etc. You can also create any vegetable to grain ratio you like. I really like the crunchy texture of the vegetables with the softness of the grain, so I prefer to do a 50:50 mix of vegetables to grain.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
2 cups chopped red bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, Kalamata olive
1 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup fresh oregano
1/4 cup Persian Lime Olive Oil
1/4 cup Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
Handful chopped scallion
1/4 avocado, sliced
Handful of Spinach as base of salad
Traditional Balsamic drizzle as needed

Just combine all ingredients, place over a bed of spinach and top it off with scallion and avocado.

I don't use fresh oregano often, but I threw it into this salad because I had it on hand, and it was amazing. It added another element to this dish and I really hope you don't leave it out! Dried oregano will not taste the same, but it's worth a try. Let me know if you improvise with dried oregano and how it turned out!