{A no fuss, no carb lunch or dinner: A Greek Style Quinoa Salad}

 

Summary:

I love quinoa. It tastes like rice but it’s not a carb. It’s a great source of protein. Now I’ve written about all of its powerful benefits before so I won’t babble about it. I’ll just say this – adding quinoa to salads takes them to another dimension. It’s a healthy, low calorie, meatless, filling protein option…and my favorite part? I cook it in the microwave for 15 minutes without  having to watch it or fear that it may get burnt.  And what do I do in those 15 min? Sit back, relax… Sadly – no… I use those minutes to prep the things I am going to add to the salad. Promise you will have lunch/dinner done in under 20 min… Now that is something to consider. Other great benefits: no defrosting, no killing animals, long shelf life…shall I go on? I think I’ll stop here. As far as the rest of the recipe goes, for it to be considered “greek” I had to add yogurt, cucumber and tomatoes. The feta cheese is optional, but suggested. I personally ate the salad without the cheese and it was still savory and amazing. However I’ll include a “loaded” salad version (which was my husband’s) for those who are feeling a bit more adventurous.

A Greek Style Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

SALAD:
3 cups spinach – use as a whole or finely chop it (your choice, I like it chopped)
1/2 english cucumber, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained

QUINOA:
1  cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp of oil &  salt to taste

DRESSING:
1/4 cup extra virgen olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
water, to dilute dressing – if desired
1 tbsp non fat greek yogurt
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp salt & pepper, of each – add more if desired
goat cheese or feta cheese, *great optional additions

Directions:

1. QUINOA COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
Add 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, 2 cups of water, salt to taste, 1 tsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Stir and cook covered for 15 min. Let rest for a couple of minutes then fluff with a fork.

2. GREEK SPINACH SALAD:
Chop all the vegetables and place in a large bowl. Add the beans and the spinach. Mix well. Season with some salt and peper. Toss. When the quinoa is cooked and slightly cooled add to the salad and mix again. You can either eat this salad warm or cold it’s up to you! I like to mix the semi warm quinoa with the vegetables so they will soften a little bit. If you want a crunchy and cold salad let the quinoa cool completely before mixing all of the salad ingredients together.

3. HEALTHY YOGURT-DILL DRESSING:
Whisk together all the ingredients. Taste the dressing. Adjust with water, salt & pepper if needed. NOTE- If you added lots of salt and pepper to the quinoa salad don’t go crazy adding tons of salt to your dressing the result will be a very salty salad.

**This will produce EXTRA dressing, you DO NOT need to use all of it in the salad. I suggest adding 1/4 cup of the dressing to the quinoa salad, mixing it well, and trying it. If you like a creamy salad then go ahead and add more it depends on your taste!

Servings: 4

{REGULAR VERSION} – make according to instructions above.

{LOADED VERSION} – add feta or goat cheese and almond slices.

Which one are you tempted to eat?

Enjoy!

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