Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

mains recipes Aug 23, 2020

There’s just something about Mediterranean food that simply never gets old for me. The fresh flavors hit the spot every time, and honestly, I seem to always be looking for any excuse to consume hummus and olives (two of my all-time favorite foods) whenever possible.

And this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is no exception! I recently meal prepped this recipe for the week and was genuinely excited to devour it day after day. More of my go-to recipes in this same genre are:

Before even learning about the incredible benefits, I unconsciously and loosely followed the Mediterranean Diet simply because it includes foods that both make me feel my best and I enjoy the most – vegetables, seafood, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocado, herbs and spices. What more could we need?

For those unfamiliar with the Mediterranean Diet, it’s a traditional way of eating that emphasizes a variety of healthy fats, nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and protein as well as fiber to promote heart health, longevity, protection against disease and more.

This specific Mediterranean-inspired recipe includes a variety of all of the above and likewise is filled with plant-based protein – making it the perfect meal for your next #meatlessmonday.

Quinoa and chickpeas are two of my personal favorites thanks to how versatile and nutrient-dense they are. Quinoa specifically is considered a “super grain” or an “ancient grain” as it is one of the few plant-based sources of compete protein (meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids). Plus, it’s high in fiber, iron, lysine, magnesium, manganese and vitamin B2.

My Seasonal Veggie & Quinoa Bowl with Herbed Tahini and Homemade Flower Child Mother Earth Bowl are other quinoa-packed recipes I love!

Chickpeas are likewise incredibly nutritious and provide a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as a decent amount of fiber and protein. Have several cans sitting in your pantry as we speak (I’m guilty over for sure…)? Check out my 7 Creative Uses for a Can of Chickpeas post to get those creative juices flowing.

This recipe is a double whammy with both of these superfood ingredients included as well as delicious, fresh vegetables like red peppers, cucumbers and red onion. These provide nice crunch and variety to make this salad anything but boring!

Plus, any good Mediterranean dish isn’t complete without olives and sun dried tomatoes – in my world at least. They provide a nice salty bite and richness that work perfectly with the fresh veggies and light vinaigrette. And herbs are always essential, so don’t shy away from as much fresh basil as you’d like.

Feta is another personal favorite of mine, but since I try to avoid dairy when possible (which you can read more about in my Why I Ditched Dairy post), I included a dairy-free version in this recipe.

Both work perfectly and add much-needed creaminess. For those likewise looking for a dairy-free option, I recommend checking out Violife Just Life Feta.

All of these simple yet delicious ingredients come together with an easy but flavor-packed vinaigrette. Feel free to amp it up or down with however much spice you love, but overall, I found the combination of garlic powder and oregano to be the perfect finishing touch.

Whether you’re looking for a fresh and hearty salad to bring to your next summer get-together or, like me, want to take your meal prep to the next level, this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is the solution.

Hope you enjoy this nutritious and refreshing recipe as much as I do! And, as always, be sure to give me a shout on social media @goodness_with_g if you give it a try  .


 

 

 YIELDS4 Servings
 PREP TIME10 mins COOK TIME15 mins TOTAL TIME25 mins

 

Ingredients
  •  2 cups cooked quinoa
  •  1  can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  •  ½  large English cucumber, diced
  •  1  large red pepper, diced
  •  ½  red onion, finely diced
  •  ½ cup crumbled feta (I subbed for dairy-free feta)
  •   cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  •  ½ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  •  ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Vinaigrette
  •  2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  •  2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  •  ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 tsp garlic powder
  •  ½ tsp dried oregano
  •  salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions
 
Add all of your salad ingredients to a medium-sized bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Pour vinaigrette over salad, and mix to coat completely.
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Serve, and enjoy!

 

 

 

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