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Recipes July 11, 2014

Quinoa Salad With Mediterranean Flavors

This hearty yet refreshing salad is perfect for potlucks, picnics and backyard barbecues. It provides the benefits whole grains and lots of colorful vegetables in one dish and requires no last-minute preparation. The base of the salad is quinoa, which although it is treated like a grain, is actually a seed. It is gluten-free and it supplies complete protein, as well as magnesium and fiber. Quinoa has a delicate, nutty flavor and cooks in less than 20 minutes. You can find it in natural foods stores and many supermarkets.   

Combine quinoa, water and 1/8 tsp salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to large bowl and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water.

Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, pepper, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil.

Add cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley, chives, and green beans to quinoa. Add lemon dressing; toss to coat. Salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. If you would like to make it the day before, store the blanched green beans separately and toss them into salad shortly before serving (the acid in the dressing causes green beans to discolor).

Yield: 6 (generous 3/4-cup) servings

Per serving: Calories: 209. Total fat: 13 grams. Saturated fat: 2 grams. Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 261 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 21 grams: Fiber: 3 grams. Protein: 4 grams.


  • 3/4 cup Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cup green beans, stem ends trimmed, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup Kalmata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives

Comments (2)

Aren't all grains seeds?

Posted by: William Broggi | December 8, 2014 11:55 AM    Report this comment

Cynthia Harriman of the Whole Grains Council explains:
All grains are seeds, but not all seeds are grains.

So technically you'd want to say that quinoa, the seed from a plant that's distantly related to beets and spinach, is nonetheless considered a whole grain because its nutritional profile is similar to that of other whole grains and it's eaten in similar forms to whole grains.

Three "whole grains" --- quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat -- are pseudo-grains, not technically in the grass family Poaceae with the other grains, but counted as whole grains for nutrition and regulatory labeling purposes.

Posted by: Theresa Jankowski | December 9, 2014 7:40 AM    Report this comment

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