Here’s one of the most fun things about me that most people don’t really know: I love to cook. My first memory of cooking was standing on the chair in the kitchen of our first house, wanting to “help” my mother make dinner. I used to stand with my grandmother and my aunt who measured everything with their hands (the well of a cupped palm equals about a teaspoon, roughly) and when I get a chance to really cook, I can seriously throw down.
I’ve been making more recipes lately and have rediscovered a real passion for the kitchen, especially when it comes to healthy recipes from which I can eat all week. See also: I’m really trying to lose this last 20 lbs, so I have to watch it, especially since traveling and the holidays are coming up.
I whipped this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe up for Lucky Guy on Monday Night, along with a low-carb Turkey Meatloaf that made for a great dinner in front of Monday Night Football (we’re both rabid football fans.) This recipe is not only delicious, it requires almost no time, makes about six-to-eight servings and can last about a week in the fridge. It’s packed with protein, good veggies and it’s very kind to your waistline at about 150 calories a serving, which is a little more than a cup.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
What You’ll Need
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I’d recommend getting pre-washed quinoa, otherwise you have to wash it before you cook it)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/4 c. diced red onion
- 1/2 a whole lemon (you’ll squeeze it over the top)
- 1/4 c. pitted and sliced kalamata olives
- 1 c. quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 c. crumbled feta
- salt and fresh pepper, to taste
How to make it:
- If you bought un-rinsed quinoa, throw it in a mesh colander or sieve and rinse it for two minutes, making sure you remove the saponins. If you purchased rinsed quinoa, congratulations: you can skip this step.
- Cook the quinoa in the 2 cups of water, bringing it to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the quinoa covered for about 15 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it settle for about five minutes uncovered, then fluff it with a fork and throw it into a large serving bowl to cool. Since I cut vegetables really quickly (and I have a small apartment kitchen that gets hot quickly, I thrown mine into the fridge to speed up the cooling process.)
- Dice all your vegetables and place them into a separate serving bowl.
- Take your quinoa out of the fridge and throw your diced vegetables over it. Add your olive oil and the juice from 1/2 a lemon.
- Add the feta, salt and pepper and toss the whole thing together. Keep adding salt, pepper and lemon until it suits your fancy. DONE.