It’s BBQ season. That means lots of potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, and hamburgers (there’s nothing wrong with that from time to time). But why not switch it up every once in a while and bring a delicious and healthy gluten-free salad to share instead?
As I mentioned yesterday, I am on a quinoa kick. At the beginning of the week I usually prepare a large batch of quinoa so that I am able to enjoy it easily throughout the week.
I generally add the quinoa into a big mixed greens salad or serve it alongside of some chicken kabobs or stir-fry, but sometimes I get fancy. I got fancy this week.
After taking inventory in the fridge, I realized that I had just about everything I needed to make a Greek inspired quinoa dish: quinoa, zucchini, tomatoes, and basil from the farmer’s market, red onion, red bell peppers, feta cheese, and everything I need to make my own Greek dressing (olive oil, red wine vinegar, spices). The only thing I had to buy at the grocery store to make this salad complete was kalamata olives.
This dish involves a little bit of chopping and mixing, but all in all it is pretty simple! I made my own dressing but you could certainly buy your favorite Greek or Italian salad dressing at the store in this salad, and that would be just fine.
What’s great about this dish is that you can make it the night before you want to eat it, and just add finishing touches right before you serve it.
So to begin, I had cooked a huge batch of quinoa with half chicken broth and half water. I scooped two cups of the cooked quinoa into a medium bowl. Then I chopped up zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper, grape and cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives. I mixed the quinoa and veggies and set them aside.
Then, I mixed up my dressing (the recipe is below). I poured half of the dressing over the quinoa and combined it gently into the salad. I covered the salad and put it in the fridge for the night.
The next day I removed the salad from the fridge, added in the rest of the dressing, gave it a stir and topped it with fresh feta cheese and fresh basil!
Botta bing, botta boom! Beautiful. I couldn’t stop snapping photos, it was just so pretty!
3 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in half chicken broth and half water)
½ cup red pepper, diced
½ cup zucchini, diced
½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
⅓ cup red onion, diced finely
½ cup feta cheese
3 Tbsp fresh basil, cut into shreds
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1½ tsp. dried oregano
1½ tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ Tbsp. ground mustard
cracked black pepper
In a small container, mix up the dressing. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine quinoa, red pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, and half of the dressing. Give it a gentle stir, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight (or for a couple of hours).
The next day, remove the salad and add in the remainder of the dressing, mix to combine. Finish by sprinkling feta cheese and fresh basil on top of salad. Enjoy!!
Are you utilizing locally grown, in-season vegetables?