Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This is a favorite salad for lunch, dinner, picnics or parties. Quinoa is a ‘super grain’ from Peru that cooks up like rice. You can season it with garlic or onions or light soy sauce in a side dish. Naturally gluten free, quinoa is higher in protein and fiber than other grains and has an earthy, nutty flavor. In addition, quinoa is a decent source of iron (10% of the daily value)- a nutrient that’s tricky to obtain in vegetarian diets. Adding a food high in vitamin C (like bell peppers or tomatoes) boosts the absorption of iron from plant foods such as beans or grains. Adding a can of white beans boost protein, soluble fiber and iron to the dish. Enjoy!
1 ½ cups uncooked white quinoa
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
½ cup feta cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed- optional
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- Prepare quinoa according to directions. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, oregano and garlic and set aside.
- Wash spinach leaves and use a salad spinner to dry. Tear the spinach leaves and place in a large bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers.
- Add quinoa and white beans to the vegetable mixture, then add the dressing and blend well.
- Add feta cheese and olives and toss into the salad and serve.
Makes 10 (1 cup) servings. Nutrition facts per serving: 340 calories, 11 grams fat, 47 grams carbohydrate, 14.8 grams protein, grams fiber, 7 mg cholesterol, 157 mg sodium, 23 % DV iron