When the temperatures climb, it’s nice to have a few back-pocket recipes that don’t require much cooking and that can be made in advance and enjoyed for several meals. Quinoa Salad has become a bit of household name in the health food realm, and for good reason. Nutritious and widely available, quinoa is delicious mixed with just about any combination of sweet and savory ingredients. Flavors inspired by Greece – mint, feta, olives, and oregano – elevate regular Quinoa Salad from boring to something you’ll look forward to eating all week.
Why we love this recipe:
Soaking quinoa improves its digestibility and activates an enzyme called phytase, which reduces quinoa’s phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous in grains and seeds, and prevents them from being absorbed by the body.
Heat can adversely affect blood sugar, so when the temperatures climb, it becomes especially important to drink plenty of water and eat foods that stabilize blood glucose. The high fiber content of this recipe helps to do just that.
Greek Quinoa Salad (makes about 4 cups)
1 cup quinoa (red or tri-color is pretty)
2 bunches fresh parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped mint
1 container cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
4 oz feta cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1) Soak quinoa: Add dry quinoa to a pot and cover with filtered water. Add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the pot and stir. Cover and let sit for 12 hours at temperature. After 12 hours, pour quinoa through a fine mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly.
2) Cook quinoa: Add soaked and rinsed quinoa to a pot with 1 cup of filtered water. Add ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover pot partially with a lid. Let cook until water has evaporated. Then, remove from heat, put the lid on tight, and let quinoa finish steaming for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, fluff quinoa with a fork.
3) Whisk dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.
4) Add chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and olives to the bowl and toss with dressing. Just before serving, crumble feta over the top.
Store in fridge for up to 1 week.