A colorful, hearty and modern take on a classic. Sometimes I just crave a good Greek salad. This time it was sparked by a massive jar of kalamata olives I scored at Costco the other day.
To make this a quick and easy meal I’m finding I like to cook my quinoa ahead and let it chill out in the fridge for a day. Then, I can throw it in a salad, heat it up in a Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (which I am eating on a regular basis) or toss into soup at my leisure.
Juicy tomatoes, creamy garbanzo beans and crisp cucumber tossed in a fresh, light dressing – so delicious. And even better the next day at work for an easy, no heating required lunch. Serve family style with my Greek Chicken Skewers, pita bread wedges and small bowls of toppings like crumbled feta, hummus, tzatziki Greek yogurt dip and extra olive oil or balsamic for drizzling. Simply mouth-watering, that’s all.
GREEK SPINACH QUINOA SALAD
gluten & dairy free
• 3/4 cup RED QUINOA (rainbow or regular)
• 1 large CUCUMBER, chopped (seedless or regular with seeds removed)
• 1 large RED TOMATO, chopped
• 1 small ONION, chopped
• 3 cloves GARLIC, minced
• 15 oz GARBANZO BEANS, rinsed, drained
• 1 cup PITTED WHOLE KALAMATA OLIVES, chopped
• 3 cups FRESH SPINACH or ARUGULA (baby or regular, chopped)
• 2 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
• JUICE OF 1 LEMON
• 1 tsp OREGANO, dried
• SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
• 1/3 cup FRESH BASIL, snipped (dill, parsley or combination)
• 1/2 tsp CRUSHED RED PEPPER (optional)
1. Cook quinoa in water according to package directions, fluff with a fork and cool.
2. Combine cooled quinoa, cucumber, tomato, onion, beans and olives in a large glass bowl.
3. In a small measuring cup whisk lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper, if using. Pour dressing over quinoa/vegetable mixture. Fold in spinach and fresh herbs. Serve immediately or refrigerate a few hours before serving. Serves 8. Serving size about 3/4 cup. Top salad (or serve in small bowls on the side) with crumbled feta cheese, tzatziki Greek yogurt dip or hummus.
VARIATIONS: Substitute white northern beans for garbanzo. Add sun dried tomatoes.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 170 calories, 7g fat, 1g sat fat, 23g carb, 6g fiber, 2g sugar, 5g protein