this Middle Eastern salad normally uses cracked wheat, but quinoa is a much better, gluten free substitute. Quinoa is not really a grain, but a seed, and it is packed with antioxidants, nutrients and ALL the essential amino acids. Quinoa is high in protein, making it a good substitute for meat–it is also high in lysine, important for tissue growth and repair.
Quinoa also contains magnesium, manganese, copper, iron and phosphorus, along with antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber–especially helpful to those who suffer from migraines, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Quinoa also contains lots of riboflavin, a B vitamin needed for energy production.
This salad is great chilled, or served at room temperature. For added flavor and protein, add some raw or natural feta cheese on top.
2 cups cooked and drained quinoa (try red, black or a combination of colored quinoa)
1 cucumber, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped, or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup fresh mint
2 cups fresh chopped parsley
2-4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/4 to 1/3 cup feta cheese (optional)
cup up chicken for extra protein (optional)
1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Cut up veggies for salad and toss with quinoa and dressing. If you have time, this tastes better after 2-4 hours when vegetables and quinoa soak up dressing better. Serves 4.