Recipe by Elizabeth Herbert, MS, Clinical Nutrition Intern
Adapted from a recipe from hunts.com
This Mediterranean salad combines quinoa with olives, cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, and feta cheese to provide great flavor as well as make it gluten free. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids, which makes it a great protein option for vegetarians and those eating low-carb diets. It is also high in fiber. We need fiber in our diets to help balance blood sugar and keep our digestive tract and bowel movements healthy. Vegetarians often must combine one or more incomplete proteins together in a meal (think beans and rice) to obtain adequate protein in their diet, so quinoa is a delicious and easy option when trying to eat enough protein during the day.
Fresh tomatoes and olives provide antioxidants like Vitamin E and healthy fats that help keep our cells and hearts healthy. Cucumbers contain ascorbic acid, which helps with water retention, as well as high amounts of silica, which helps strengthen our connective tissue, keeping our ligaments and tendons strong and healthy. Onions are a great superfood, as they are good source of Vitamin C, B6, and a flavonoid called quercetin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. This recipe can definitely be enjoyed year round and I hope you love as much as I do!
1 cup brown quinoa, cooked
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh or dried basil (1/2 teaspoon if dried)
Fresh or dried oregano (1/2 teaspoon if dried)
1 cup fresh Roma or cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1. Cook quinoa according to package and let cool for 5 minutes in refrigerator.
2. Chop cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and olives and combine with feta and spices in a large bowl.
3. Once quinoa has cooled, toss with other ingredients.