Friday, April 16, 2010
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3 tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed in a garlic press
¼ cup kalamata olives
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
7 ounces sheep's milk feta cheese, cubed
¼ cup diced red onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cold running water. Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes until quinoa is almost translucent.
Spread cooked quinoa on a large dinner plate and place in freezer for 15 minutes to chill. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic. Toss with quinoa.
Add olives, scallions, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, and red onion; gently mix ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Feta cheese may be too salty for some. To lower the sodium count, soak it in water overnight.
Nutrition Score per serving:
(1 ½ cups): 331 calories, 19 g fat (52% of calories), 6 g saturated fat, 31 g carbs, 11 g protein, 10 g fiber, 233 mg calcium, 3 mg iron, 488 mg sodium
Health Benefits of Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah):
Although not a common item in most North American kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.
A recently rediscovered ancient "grain" native to South America, quinoa was once called "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Quinoa is high in protein, but more importantly, the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.
In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
:: This is one of my favorite salads to make! It is fun to watch a person's face contort into skeptical confusion when I mention Quinoa... and then melt into blissful delight once they take their first bite! Oh yeah... and it is DELICIOUS, too!