Today’s Meatless Monday recipe is a fun one. And yes, it is a day late but a holiday week allows for this! Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is great for so many reasons but the top one is that is tastes great! It is a wonderful alternative to pasta or rice, if you’re tired of them or are looking to eliminate gluten or want to add more nutrients to your diet. It is naturally gluten-free, cholesterol-free and has the highest protein content of whole grains. It’s a win-win for everyone.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 tomato, chopped
2 persian cucumbers, sliced
4 ounces feta, cubed
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup basil, torn
Juice of 2 lemons
3-4 TBs olive oil
1 TSP salt and 1 TSP pepper to taste
Boil 2 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa. It is the same concept as rice in that two parts water to one part grain. Rinse the quinoa first before adding it to the water as it is known to have a residue that must be rinsed beforehand. Let it cook about five minutes with the cover askew until most of the water has soaked in. Turn the heat off completely and cover the pot and let it steam for another ten minutes. It should be ready at this point.
In the meantime, gather a large bowl to spread the quinoa in to cool once cooked. Chop and slice the vegetables, walnuts and feta, add olive oil and salt and pepper and set aside in smaller bowl. Squeeze the lemons and add to warm quinoa. Once the quinoa is room temperature add the rest of the ingredients. You may want to add a little more olive oil but quinoa is a fairly moist grain. Be careful not to add too much salt as the feta is quite salty. Add more pepper if you like a kick! You may also substitute the greens for what you have on hand. Arugula or cilantro would add great flavor too. This can be eaten cold but the flavors come through best at room temperature. Serves two with left overs and four as a generous side side. Enjoy!