Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Spring is finally here in Minnesota and we are getting spoiled with the weather. Time to get the grill out and start making light, summery foods.

This recipe is made with quinoa (think Keen-wah), which is originally  from the Andes in South America. It is not used very frequently in the American diet, but it is a whole grain with lots of good nutrients. I, personally, hated quinoa as a kid. I didn’t like the texture or the taste. However, my mom’s Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is about the only way I’ll eat it and I’m always struggling to find healthy way to incorporate new whole grains. This salad is super yummy in the summer, and takes no time at all.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (This recipe comes from the Cookus Interruptus Web site)

1 cup quinoa

1 3/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped mint
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
¼ cup currants
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese

Wash, rinse and drain quinoa. Place in a 2-quart pot, add water and salt, bring to boil, lower heat and simmer with lid on until all water is absorbed (15-20 minutes). Don’t stir the grain while it is cooking. Test for doneness by tilting the pan to one side, making sure all of the water has been absorbed. Remove lid and let rest 5-10 minutes.

Dry toast pine nuts in skillet or 300 degree F. oven until they begin to change color and give off aroma.

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint and parsley in a large bowl Add currants and toasted pine nuts and toss. Using a fork, add cooked warm quinoa a little at a time. Crumble feta over the top. Toss well. Serve at room temperature.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

(I did not have pine nuts, so I used some sliced almonds instead. I also did not have currants, so I substituted raisins)

Also, today was Easter! So my friends and I did the brunch thang. I brought breakfast potatoes (see my recipe in past entries), and we had mimosas, ham strata, grand marnier french toast, and fruit! It was yummy…

(Mimosas with strawberries, oranges, and basil)

And we played croquet…

Also, I just want to mention, the other night, we made Tikka Masala (see my recipes section). SO good. Also, I make my mom’s chili like everyday, definitely recommend it.

Stay tuned, next week I will be  trying out some Asian, summery salads.


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