Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

July 29, 2012

I’m super excited to share this healthy + scrumptious recipe, as it was a total hit at my house the other night. Big shout out to Saj who inspired me to explore this dish after hearing about his mom’s Tabbouleh Salad! Also got some great ideas from Food Network’s Claire Robinson’s recipe and Healthyveganrecipes.net. I served my Mediterranean Quinoa Salad as the main dish and accompanied it with: sautéed asparagus & carrot sticks, a well-toasted half pita and a strawberry-basil drink.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (serves 4-5 people)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa + 2 & 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 3/4 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 large & crispy tomato, diced
  • 1 large red or white onion, diced
  • 1/2 red or green pepper, diced
  • 2 handfuls of pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 can of chickpeas (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red chili powder to taste
  • Cumin seed powder to taste
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek or homeade-Indian is best)

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine 2 & 1/2 cups of water + 1 cup of quinoa and let it soak for 15 minutes. Cook the quinoa at medium heat (no lid) until there is no more water showing (should be ready by the time you are done chopping everything).

In a small pan, toast pine nuts on slow heat until golden brown. Keep aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, a pinch of salt and a pinch of cumin seed powder. Keep aside.

In a large salad bowl, add the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Chop all vegetables into tiny cubes (try to make them all one size) and add to salad bowl. If using canned chickpeas, simply rinse, drain and add to bowl. Chop parsley and basil (keep small amount aside for later) and add to bowl.

Add some of the olive oil into the cooked and slightly cooled quinoa. Mix well. Add quinoa into salad bowl. Toss everything together. Now add salt, pepper, cumin seed powder, red chilli powder and more olive oil into mixture. Toss together until perfectly flavorful. Drizzle yogurt mixture on top. When serving, sprinkle toasted pine nuts, parsley and basil on top.

Serve with well-toasted whole wheat pita and sauteed veggies for a full meal!

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