It’s all Greek to me. Quintastic Spring Salad.

It's Greek once you toss in some feta and lemons...

Listen up, you can’t NOT like this quinoa (keen-wah) salad.

(I just sounded like a bully-or just a quinoa advocate?)

And the proof is in the puddin cause the hubs eats it.

I know, I’m just as surprised as you that he won’t embrace my tofu chocolate mousse.

Anyway, back to the fun food of choice today. I’ve decided that you should all pronounce it however you want (quinoa that is). While I have the occasional few who correct me (c’mon) I’ll make it very clear here, as clear as that cup of club soda I’m sipping, according to the food lovers companion it’s pronounced keen-wah. But if you want to say keen-no-ah, go for it. Another fun word? Kefir, take a wild guess how that one is pronounced?

So, to those of you who haven’t tried this grain of goodness yet, I get it, it can appear a bit scary. I served it up at the Easter gathering and had a few questionable glances.

I’ve made a few dishes already boasting the cute lil grain so my quinoa kingdom is well on its way, so if you haven’t peaked at this breakfast recipe or this quinlafeburger recipe, you might want to do so-like now, then come back.

I’d love to take credit for the recipe and although I’ve been whipping up and eating this or the traditional version of a Greek salad for years, I’ll give credit to the original recipe creators from My Recipes. (I do tend to leave the shallots out of the recipe, but they pack a great flavor, just don’t settle well with my belly-TMI?).

Healthy, Light, and Filling all in one lil ramekin!

RECIPE

GREEK QUINOA SALAD

Serves: Many people

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa (I used half white and half red -click link for fun facts and pics of different types of quinoa).
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, kalamata olives
  • 1 cup (or more) sliced, seedless cucumber
  • 1 red + 1 yellow pepper-chopped
  • 1 large handful of arugula or other salad greens (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) feta cheese, crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (I add more)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredient line up

I heart yellow peppers. Peter Piper did pick a peck...or was that pickles?

Methods:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions (if buying in bulk-heat 3 cups of broth, bring to a boil, add quinoa, bring to another boil, then reduce heat to simmer for approximately fifteen minutes).
  2. Once cooked, remove from heat and fluff the good stuff up! Let the quinoa cool on the stove a bit, then transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge to let it cool.

Meanwhile, chop all ingredients up (preferably while that grain is cookin). From olives, to cucumbers, peppers, etc. to bite size pieces or chunks. Set-Aside.

the more olives the better....yes or no?


  1. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, and sherry vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk a bit. After all the chopping is said and done (this does take a bit of time pending on your knife skills), remove the quinoa from the fridge and pour the dressing into the bowl. Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar if you desire (I always end up drizzling a bit more olive oil and lemon juice cause that quinoa gets greedy and absorbs the oil a bit).
  2. Add all other ingredients (feta, veggies, etc.) to the bowl and toss.
  3. Oh, and those salad greens? I like to serve the quinoa on top of a heaping pile of spinach or arugula but one can also mix it all up together for one big happy SALAD family! 

Perk it up with a bit more feta, olive, veggies and tada!

One hearty meatless meal or salad!

Cooks Tips:

  • You can cook the quinoa the night before so as to save time (I would also make the dressing and toss it up so the flavors mingle overnight).
  • Don’t have sherry vinegar? Try rice vinegar or balsamic.
  • Add avocado chunks for more creaminess. (I’m adding avocado to everything these days…cause it’s like butter).
  • Make it a FULL meal by serving grilled chicken chunks, tofu, tempeh, beans or any other protein source on top or mixed in with the salad (even though we know quinoa is a rock star with its protein quality) sometimes you need or want more to chew on.
ENJOY!
-Jen

What’s your favorite spring or summer salad?

Do you have a go-to recipe you always find yourself bringing to family or other gatherings?

Guest Post-Fresh Juice anyone?

Green, Fresh and Delicious!

GUEST BLOG TIME!

I invited Junia, whose blog struck me with the photos of healthy foods and recipes right away. Junia and I crossed paths via Foodbuzz and have been connected ever since! I am delighted to share one of her recipes here which I think you’ll all enjoy.

MY THOUGHTS ON JUICING:

(I personally luv it and should dust off my juicer)

  • You all know I want you to eat a vegetable or two or three and juicing can squeeze (pun intended) a bunch into one glass.
  • I don’t recommend it necessarily for anything specific, but the health benefits are pretty fantastic-I mean it’s fruit and veggies!
  • It’s great for those of you who can’t stand to chew vegetables (sigh) but some of you just can’t or won’t take the time to cook, chomp, or chew carrots, peppers or brussels.
  • Digestion: Yes, some have a difficult time with digestion for many reasons IBS might be one of them and roughage from raw vegetables might not settle to well. Fresh juices tend to be digested easily, the only thing you miss out on is all the fiber from the skins, but hopefully you’re getting that elsewhere.

WELCOME JUNIA!

Hi everyone! My name is Junia from Mis Pensamientos! and I am so excited to guest post for Jennifer’s blog! We are so similar in terms of our love for healthy weird foods and our passion for clean nutritious eating.  We even adore mini-coopers, and are fellow Foodbuzz publishers.

Crazy how we can find such similar people in this world! :)

Today I am thrilled to share about my daily passion of veggie juicing.  I had been dealing with some chronic digestive issues for a couple of years and one of my friends suggested buying a juicer.  Just last year after receiving a giftcard to a local store, I bought my first juicer (nearly free!) and I made my first ever veggie juice.  I started to see immediate, dramatic effects in my body and my skin.  Within a day, I noticed that my digestion had normalized!  I had more energy to be active and even my skin began to glow.  I still get comments about this “glow” and I can honestly say that it is because of the nourishing benefits of juicing.  Ever since, it has been my daily habit to drink at least one a day. :)

Pear Apple Ginger! See recipe on Junia's blog!

Vegetable juicing works wonders because it infuses your entire body with essential vitamins and minerals without having to go through the laborious digestive process of breaking down your food.  Depending on what your body needs, you can mix and match various types of vegetables!  I always have a handful of leafy greens such as romaine, green leaf lettuce, or kale.  I also like to add in an extra root vegetable like ginger, carrots, or beets since they are quite nutrient dense.  To make it more palatable, I usually add in a fruit for sweetness like a grapefruit or an apple.  If I’m feeling under the weather, I love to freshly press Valencia oranges and my symptoms dissipate within a day or so.

It is my go-to medicine for everything.  It seriously works wonders. :)

Tips/Purchasing a Juicer:

I use the Breville Juice Fountain Elite, which has been great in terms of getting the most juice out of my veggies!  The only real difference you will see is how much juice is pressed between the various models. So if you are thinking about juicing every day, the more expensive one is definitely worth it. I hope you all explore the art of veggie juicing soon!

Jen’s input here: There are a few different types of juicers including Centrifuging, Masticating, Twin Gear, and Main Electric. No idea what I’m talkin about? Here’s a very helpful link that will tell it all. I use the Omega 1000 original juicer.

You can check out all of Junia’s healthy inspirations and delicious recipes on her blog at!  http://juniakk.blogspot.com/

 RECIPE

PEAR KALE GREEN JUICE

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 red anjou pear
  • handful of green kale
  • handful of parsley
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 lemon with peel

Methods: 

Juice it all! Don’t peel anything, perhaps chop thing up so that they fit into the tube.

 One of my spontaneous green juice recipes. Hope you enjoy!

DO YOU JUICE? WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE?

&

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE OR COMBINATION?