Quinoa is full of phytonutrients, antioxidants and can help balance your blood sugar. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not actually a grain; it is a seed and related to the spinach family although it cooks and tastes like a grain, making it an excellent replacement for grains that are difficult to digest like rice or pasta. It has a host of health benefits and is a great source of protein (great for those of you who are vegetarian).
Try this salad as either a side dish, or a larger portion as a meal by itself.
1 cup dried quinoa
Home-made chicken stock or water to cook quinoa in
1/2 red onion. chopped
2 small or 1 large cucumber, diced
4 plum tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 aubergine, diced
1/2 pound Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup whole Kalmata olives
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Rinse quinoa thoroughly – until water runs clear and no bubbles appear.
Cover with at least 2 inches of warm water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours (overnight works perfectly). Meanwhile, roast the diced peppers and aubergine (and any other Mediterranean vegetables you fancy) and allow to cool.
Drain the Quinoa and add to a saucepan along with the stock/water. Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
Combine all the ingredients, except the lemon, with cooked and cooled quinoa. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the salad and toss until ingredients are well-combined. Refrigerate until serving.