Gluten-Free Recipe: Mediterranean Summer Quinoa Salad
Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet plays a key role in reducing the risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome. The Mediterranean diet is composed of fruit, veggies, fish and whole grains, with a splash of cholesterol-lowering olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine every now and then. It limits unhealthy fats and red meat, which contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Summer Mediterranean Quinoa Salad makes a refreshing side dish for any meal. The roasted red peppers are bursting with flavor and are complemented by the cilantro and green onions. Quinoa is the gluten-free base for this dish and it is a great source of protein. This is a tangy light salad that will wow your health-conscious friends (or anyone, for that matter) at a potluck.
Summer Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Serving size: 4 sides
- 1 red pepper ( or 1 cup diced pre-roasted red peppers)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup black olives, chopped
- 1 cup organic goat feta, drained and diced (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
Wash the red pepper and place it whole on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes turning every 5 minutes until all of the sides are darker in color. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. When the pepper is cool enough to touch, peel off the skin and remove the seeds. Dice into 1-cm squares.
While the pepper is baking, cook quinoa as directed on the package. When the quinoa is cooked, set it aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine olive oil, lime, cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk until mixed. Add the cilantro, green onions, chia seeds, feta cheese, black olives and red pepper and toss.
Finally add the quinoa, toss until mixed and serve the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad at room temperature or place in the fridge to serve chilled.
Jesse Lane Lee, BSc, CNP is a cheerful Holistic Nutritionist, motivating speaker, cookbook author, and founder of JesseLaneWellness.com. She is a recovering sugar-a-holic who, after suffering from candida, started eating homemade sweets made with alternative sweeteners. Jesse Lane had so much fun creating healthy dessert recipes; she started writing them down so she could share with you in her cookbook. She is the author Jesse Lane Wellness Cookbook Healthy Dairy Free Desserts. Get a copy of her 15 page Guide to Natural Sugar Substitutes for FREE.