This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is full of protein rich ingredients and endless possibilities. It can be gluten free, dairy free and vegan if you like, or throw chicken and shrimp in for an even heartier meal. Make a batch ahead of time and eat it all week.
I love a good salad for lunch as evidenced here by my recent collection of over a dozen healthy salad recipes. I will admit that sometimes I get bored with lettuce and often getting tired of making a fresh meal every day - for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It does takes some time to stay healthy and sometimes that time is elusive, so I decided to mix some of my favorite salad ingredients together with some quinoa. Using quinoa instead of lettuce allows me to make a big batch ahead of time and then eat it all week for lunch, or even dinner.
The ingredient options are endless. I'm avoiding dairy, but for those that aren't, you can throw in some feta cheese for added flavor. Then there's red onion, a bit too much for me when raw, especially in the middle of the day, but if you have no one to speak closely to during or after lunch, throw them in. You can add tomatoes, shrimp or anything else that floats your boat.
The good news is that this salad will keep for several days in the fridge so you can enjoy it all week long.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Makes about 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
- 3 garlic cloves
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons hemp oil, or olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (instructions here)
- 1 pound cooked boneless chicken breast or thighs (optional or use tofu for vegan)
- 1 cucumber, chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 cup mixed Greek olives, chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet peppadew peppers, chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
- Mix all salad dressing ingredients together, adding the oil last while slowing whisking until combined. Allow to rest.
- Add the quinoa to a large bowl and mix in 1/2 of the dressing. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, along with the rest of the dressing and stir to combine. Eat immediately or if you can wait, the flavors develop even further over time. Will keep in the refrigerator 3-5 days.