It’s going to be a beautiful summer solstice weekend in our neck of the woods. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than a trip north to the lake.
This is the salad we plan to eat on the dock as we watch the osprey dive and listen to the loons sing.
Quinoa seems to be all the rage right now. It’s no wonder. This gluten-free whole grain takes only 15 to 20 minutes to cook, keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is extremely versatile. I have put quinoa in our smoothies and stews, as well as blended it in soups that require a thick, creamy texture. It is even used in many cookie, cake and muffin recipes.
If you haven’t already done so, you may want to try substituting your rice dishes for this wholesome grain. Quinoa has so many health benefits. It is high in protein, iron and calcium and has an abundance of B vitamins and other minerals. In his book “Staying Healthy with Nutrition”, Dr. Elson Haas states that the “amount of protein as well as the quality of protein in quinoa is worth mentioning….this grain contains a fairly nice balance of all essential amino acids, including lysine”. Lysine is usually not found in grains.
In fact, did you know that quinoa is more closely related to veggies like beets, spinach and swiss chard than it is to grains? As Dr. Haas says, “perhaps we should call it a vege-grain“. 🙂
There are so many delicious quinoa salads out there. This one happens to be our very favourite at the moment. Mediterranean flavours are just so refreshing this time of the year, don’t you think?
MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD
- 3 cups of cooked and cooled quinoa (follow directions on the package – one cup of dried quinoa makes approximately 3 cups cooked)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- one diced red pepper
- good handful of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup chickpeas
- chopped parsley or cilantro
- capers and black or green olives, to taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
In a large bowl, make the dressing and stir with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and toss. I like to serve this salad on top of a plate of organic mixed greens.
So simple and so easy and so darn tasty! Guaranteed to be a hit at your next social gathering! Enjoy your weekend and eat well!