No, it’s not called “qui-noah.” Although it looks like that. It’s called “keen-wa”–and it’s a power-packed little grain that I adore. I wish I could say I have an adventurous palate, but I’ve got a fairly tame one. I still don’t veer too far from the beaten path. Luckily, quinoa is a virtually flavorless vehicle for a lot of delicious meals. I use it in place of lettuce in salads, as a side for a chicken breast, and as a helpful boost to my muffin-sized frittatas.
Personally, I don’t adore red meat. Right after my daughter was born, I knew I wasn’t getting enough protein. I don’t love the taste of meat, but I’m not diligent enough to become a vegetarian. I knew if I wanted to be healthy, I needed help! Then one of my vegan friends introduced me to quinoa. Now it holds a special place in my heart. The best news about quinoa is that it is a complete protein; which means that it has all the amino acids required for a protein in it, and although it doesn’t have quite the protein count that meat and dairy do, it is still a substantial source of protein.
Sometimes it is scary to buy a new ingredient, especially one that is nearly impossible to pronounce. But I promise you won’t regret buying quinoa! It has so many great uses, and the internet is literally abounding with recipe ideas for it. One of my favorite ways to eat quinoa is in the place of lettuce in a lunch-time salad. I’m a sucker for a Greek salad, but so many restaurants load their salads with greasy dressings and wimpy lettuce, so I’ve taken matters into my own hands lately, and created what I consider a pretty ideal Greek salad.
Now, when I cook my quinoa I like to use chicken broth in place of water. I place twice as much broth as quinoa in a pot, throw in the quinoa, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, throw a lid on it, and let it simmer away for 15 minutes until those little round grains expand and break out of their shells into light, airy balls of deliciousness. The broth adds a depth of flavor to the quinoa, but if you’re vegetarian, you can use vegetable broth in place of chicken… It’s just a fun little spin on the original cooking recipe for quinoa that I’ve found lends a great deal to the taste.
When busy days come, I use this simple Quinoa Goes Greek Salad Recipe as a staple. It can keep, in my experience, for three or four days. I also portion it out so that it does not go to waste… And the best part about quinoa is that, unlike lettuce, it doesn’t get slimy if it sits in dressing for a few days. In fact, the more of the dressing the quinoa absorbs, the more delicious and tender it becomes. Oh quinoa, I’m so grateful you exist.
Quinoa Goes Greek Salad Recipe
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 whole cucumber (Remove seeds if you don’t love the taste of cucumber)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 bell pepper (any color)
2 Tbsp of Feta cheese (or more, depending on how you like it!)
Handful of chopped kalamata olives
Pepperoncini slices to taste
1/4 cup raw broccoli pieces
Red onion slices to taste
1 diced avocado (I usually only add avocado on the day I’m eating the salad, as it has the propensity to turn brown and mushy if left in dressing for too long)
(Sometimes I add shredded chicken or deli turkey for an even greater protein portion)
Quinoa Goes Greek Salad Dressing Recipe:
2 Tbsp reduced fat plain Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 tsp. pepperoncini juice
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. olive oil
For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients and whisk together until it’s emulsified (which is a fancy word for homogeneously combined…which is fancy for mixed, basically). Pour the dressing over the quinoa, veggies, and cheese and voila! Quinoa Goes Greek Salad Recipe complete. I store this in a glass container in the fridge for a few days, if it makes it that long in our house before somebody eats it all.
Y’all, I’m salivating just thinking about it. I hope you make this salad soon. It’s frightfully delicious, easy, and conveniently healthy. With that combination, you just can’t lose!
Copyright © Charis Freije, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved