Apr 18, 2013

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


A low fa,t high protein, cleaneating, weightwatcher, vegetarian recipe.

A protein packed salad with Mediterranean flavors – quinoa, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon and a little feta cheese combined makes a healthy salad with fresh clean ingredients.


I had dinner at my friend Julia's house last week, and she made a similar salad as a side dish which she served with fish although hers didn't have tomatoes or feta (I recall she mentioned she was out). I posted a picture of it on Instagram the other day and got so many requests, most of you mentioning the feta was a must! So I made this for dinner last night, with the feta as you requested.


Have lots of leftovers so I am having a big bowl of this for lunch today! This also makes a great side dish for chicken or fish, perfect for backyard parties and BBQ's (can't wait for the warmer weather!) You can totally adapt this to your taste, leave out what you don't like, add more of what you do like. Easy!



Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 generous cup • Old Points: 3 • Weight Watcher Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 145.5 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 15.5  g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Protein: 4.3 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 137 mg (without the salt) • Cholest: 7.4 mg 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 cup (about 10) kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cucumber, peeled and diced (from 1 English)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste

Directions:

Rinse quinoa for about 2 minutes, using your hands to make sure all the saponins are removed.


Fill a medium pot with water, add quinoa and salt to taste and bring to a boil. When the water boils, reduce heat to low and cover; simmer covered 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered an additional 5 minutes without lifting the lid; then fluff with a fork and set aside in a large mixing bowl to cool.


While the quinoa cools, dice all the vegetables. Add the red onion, olives, cucumber, tomatoes to the cooled quinoa, and squeeze 1/2 lemon over it.  


Drizzle the olive oil over the quinoa, then add feta, salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Taste for salt and adjust as needed, add more lemon juice if needed.


Makes over 6 1/4 cups.

If you like this salad, you may also like:

Southwest Black Bean Quinoa Medley from Skinnytaste
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn and Tomaotes Simply Recipes
Spinach Quinoa Salad with Roasted Grapes, Pears and Almonds Two Peas and A Pod
Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes and Cucumber Kalyn's Kitchen

120 comments :

  1. pity i am not able to do a quinoa properly !! I do not why i always keep procedure but it's always burn in the end :( maybe wrong quinoa haha

    http://franchemeetsfashion.blogspot.cz/

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    1. It should simmer on the lowest heat, maybe your flame is too high.

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    2. I had a hard time with quinoa too, then I used thekitchn.com's (Google "how to cook quinoa" and look for their link) cooking guide for quinoa and I have not burned it once!

      I also notoriously burn rice. Every time.

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    3. I like to cook quinoa in my rice cooker and it comes out great. I have a hard time with the stove too! I'm just learning how to cook. This recipe looks fantastic

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    5. Put more (cover the quinoa like 1" or more with water) water in it and when it is done you just put it thru a sieve and rinse it off with cool water. No sticking and you don't even need to wait until it cools off. Oh, I just don't know if you throw away nutrients by washing it. BUT, definitely no burning :)

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    6. I never thought to use the rice cooker w/ quinoa. Do you put the same amount of water in as you would do with rice?

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    7. I put the same amount. 1 to 2. And it's perfect in the rice cooker!

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    8. Try a heat diffuser under the pan on your stove. Many ranges are just too hot and will not achieve a real simmer.

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    9. Check other burners on your stove. One of my front burners seems to burn much hotter than the other one.

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  2. I love quinoa and this recipe looks perfect for summer!

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  3. If only I could eat quinoa! I could use rice or couscous! Thanks Gina!

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  4. Looks delicious! I love trying new quinoa recipes!

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  5. Definetly going to try this one!

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  6. I love making quinoa salads! it's great even when using whatever is in your fridge. tonight i am making with leftover roasted string beans, red pepper, scallions, black olives, cucumbers, and cilantro, all chopped up, with a lemon dijon dressing. So healthy and delicious!

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  7. I am DEFINITELY making this! Yum! This will be such a great alternative to bring to bbq's! Great idea! :)

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  8. It looks amazing! I have to try it

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  9. This is my absolute favourite way of eating quinoa! I don't use cucumber because I really don't like it... But other than that, if this is all I have for the rest of my life, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

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    Replies
    1. I don't care for cucumber, either. I substitute diced baby zucchini!

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  10. I make a salad similar to this all the time, and it is delicious! I make a big batch at the beginning of the week, and eat it for lunch the rest of the week. So yummy and healthy!

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  11. Looks delish! Went to TJ's to grab the ingredients as soon as I saw this. Never made quinoa (been wanting to for a while) .. looks like a great way to try it out! Whats not to like! Thanks again Gina

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  12. Oh I am sooo making this! I absolutely love quinoa, and am always on the lookout for new recipes for it. I have some green onions, might throw some of those in too!

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  13. What a beautiful quinoa salad! Some fantastic flavors, looks perfect for a summer party!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

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  14. Yum yum yum!! Looks delish! Your photos are awesome!

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    Replies
    1. This reply was very helpful! Thank you for the rply

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  15. I make something like this all the time using the Israel (pearl style) couscous. It's actually my son's favorite dish. I'll have to try this with quinoa.

    Also really good to add a little fresh parsley or mint to this. Goes great with the Mediterranean flavors.

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  16. Oh.. What a healthy Bowl...

    -Mythreyi
    Yum! Yum! Yum!

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  17. Just adding that capers would be a good (and Mediterranean) addition if anyone likes them! Maybe for higher protein and to make it a light lunch in lieu of a side, add sardines or anchovies. All still Mediterranean :)

    Keep the Mediterranean dishes coming! We are obsessed with the Mediterranean diet here.

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  18. Gina, I think you hit a home run with this one!

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  19. I love quinoa made into salad. It's so fresh and light. Yum!

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  20. wow that looks so good. I have made a similar salad with couscous in the past but never thought to make it with quinoa, YUM- great for summer picnics

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  21. I really wish Net Carbs were listed for all of us Atkins people!

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  22. What can I substitute for feta?

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    Replies
    1. How about blue cheese, or perhaps gorgonzola.

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  23. I make this same salad but I use sun dried tomato dressing over it. I use about 1/2 cup of it.

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  24. Sorry I forgot to say that I'm going to try making it with your dressing next time.

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  25. Yummy! Saving this! Will make it! :)

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  26. It's really good with balsamic vinegar and I sometimes add snap peas and peppers. It's so good for lunch! Thanks Gina!

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  27. Made this today and it is WONDERFUL! First time making Quinoa, and it turned out perfect. My tomato was not in ery good shape, so I diced up some red and orange peppers.
    Yum!

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    Replies
    1. i just made it tonight as well, was so happy with how amazing it came out!!!! The perfect dinner for a warm and sunny day.

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  28. Love this salad!!! We have made a similar salad!!! The possibilities are endless!

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  29. Love the flavors in this gorgeous quinoa salad, Gina! It looks delicious and perfect for spring parties. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. I like adding a smidge of fresh dill - not enough to overpower - and it works really nicely with the olives and feta :)

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  31. I just made this and it was awesome and so easy! I also want to add that I recently discovered this site and it has changed my life! I used to really hate cooking and I was stuck in such a rut for so long. Now, I'm excited to make new, healthy recipes that get so many complements. It really makes me feel so good about myself in so many ways. Thank you Gina! I am so grateful! :)

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  32. Will this keep well if I make it for lunch the next day?

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  33. I love quinoa salads. I just posted one too! Thanks for the link love! xo

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  35. I just made this tonight and now it's my new, favorite summer salad. Tonight I had some fresh, hot naan with the salad. Tomorrow, grilled lamb. This salad is great!

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  36. This is fabulous!! I zested the lemon and made a vinegrette with the lemon zest, lemon juice, evoo,salt pepper and added garlic and then tossed that into the rest of the ingredients. Amazing!! I will be making this for the summer BBQs that we attend!!

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    Replies
    1. Karen, thank you for your suggestion! I made a dressing as you describe, with the addition of 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Perfect!

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  37. Made a HUGE batch of this last night! Eating it for lunch today with some fish. I'm so excited! Is it best to eat it cold?

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  38. Made a HUGE batch of this last night! Eating it for lunch today with some fish. I'm so excited! Is it best to eat it cold?

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  39. This is SOOO up my alley. Cannot wait to try this out!

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  40. My calories added up to alot more and I didnt even use the onion or have enough cucumbers. Weird.

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  41. This is great! Whole foods makes one, but its very expensive for what you get. It's delicious cold!

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  42. I put this over leafy greens and drizzle with balsalmic. Bulk it up with chicken or shrimp for just a couple more p+!

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  43. SERIOUSLY amazing! I could eat this every single day.

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  44. This was refreshing, full of flavor, and absolutely delicious!! I had grilled chicken with mine, and am looking forward to leftovers. Yum!!

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  45. Just made this and it was awesome!!

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  46. Made this last week and it was delicious.

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  47. I made this yesterday and it was fantastic! Thanks!

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  48. I made this Saturday and i love it!!! It was so easy and it's pretty filling and the flavors are deelish!! Ive tried quite a few of your recipes and so far, they have all been keepers!! thanks for posting all of your recipes as it makes it easier to follow WW and I dont feel like im depriving myself.

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  49. I was wondering, myfitnesspal lists the brand of quinoa I'm using as 380 calories for 1/2 cup (100g). Your recipe says 145 calories for a cup. Could they be referring to uncooked?

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    1. my cup using tons of vegetables in my serving so you can;t compare, you would have to calculate the entire recipe.

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    2. I calculated the entire recipe, with the brands of everything I used and got 206 calories per serving.

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  50. Yummy. Very nice, quick dinner for a hot day, and enough for leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. My meat-and-potatoes husband was a little skeptical of this dish, but I left out the olives (a concession to him) and he was surprised to find it was pretty tasty.

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  51. LOVE THIS! I usually hate quinoa because it's so dry but this dish definitely makes me like it!

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  52. I have been trying to like quinoa. Usually it's too bitter (I know... rinse rinse rinse). Well this recipe did it. We had it for a side dish for dinner and then I had it for lunch. I made it just as the recipe called for, and loved the salty bite of the kalamata olives and feta.

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  53. I made this last week. I've never been a big quinoa fan, so while I really wanted to try this recipe I chickened out and only made 1 serving. Boy was THAT a mistake! It was INCREDIBLE! It was so good, I made it again the following day. My new favorite cold salad meal! The only change I made was to toss in a couple of tablespoons of black beans and chickpeas, since they were already in the fridge. Can't wait to make this again!

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  54. Replies
    1. It's the coating on the quinoa before you rinse it.

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  55. As a quinoa lover, I HAVE to try this. It looks amazing! Now that the weather's finally warm, I'm doing a detox and eating only healthy salads for a month (or two). I have plans to make this along with classic three bean salad, chipotle southwestern salad, tuna pesto pasta salad, crabmeat salad, napa cabbage slaw, kale caesar salad and various other green salads thrown in for good measure.

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  56. You have inspired my dinner tonight! As a relatively new vegetarian I have been enjoying trying new recipes to avoid monotony. Thanks for sharing :)

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  57. This is such an easy, healthy side dish-works well warm or cold, and is a perfect summer accompaniment to grilled meat or fish. My husband was a self-professed "quinoa hater" until I made this for the first time-now, he's disappointed if there isn't enough leftover for his next day's lunch! Thank you Gina!

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  58. I just made this to bring to a BBQ and it was delicious! They let us take home the leftovers (yay!) and I ate some with imitation crabmeat, lettuce and some blue cheese dressing. It made a great lunch.

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  59. Hi Gina,

    Thanks for the salad Recipe. Quick Question, when I calculated the PP+, I got 4... Perhaps I missed something?

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  60. Love this salad!!! sooo yummy :) I made the whole batch on Sunday to take to work for lunch the whole week. I added in 1 can of organic black beans for extra protein. I put about 1.25 cups of the salad on top of a mix of baby spinach and arugula and put some roasted eggplant on top for a delicious medditeranian salad :) yum yum yum!

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    Replies
    1. Love this - it's great mixed in with spinach salad!

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  61. I made this tonight and I have to say this is my favorite recipe of yours I've tried so far (and they are all good). Amazing! Thank you.

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  62. Made this with red quinoa, without The olive oil, and added tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar and stuffed sweet peppers with it. Served them to my office... Now I wish I had doubled the recipe There wasn't enough! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  63. Really delicious, fresh and healthy. My new favorite salad!

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  64. This is so good, and a batch lasts all week. I make a very similar version, recipe here on my blog:

    http://organoblondes.blogspot.com/2013/06/mediterranean-quinoa.html

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  65. This is delicious. I have never had quinoa and this looked like a good way to try it out. It was absolutely delicious. Tasted super fresh! I added chicken and divided it up for lunchs! Only 245 for 1 cup of this and 3 oz of chicken. TOTALLY AWESOME

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  66. This was delicious! My quinoa turned out a little like oatmeal, but I'm going to try one of the tips I read in the comments next time. Thanks for the recipe, Gina!

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  67. Hi Gina. It's Julia :)
    Now that the garden is in full swing we have had this dish with our own fresh cukes
    Yum! I lost myself in your site tonight. Love love love the pics the recipes everything.

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  68. This was a great summer salad to have with our dinner tonight!

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  69. I added garbanzo beans and baby spring greens!! It was fabulous! I think a fresh avocado would be good too, I just didn't have one on hand! I did increase the lemon juice and olive oil to coat the lettuce.

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  70. My measurements were off too...here's a link to my recipe.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/edit/30864155

    I had a significant difference in protein and carbs. I measure everything with a scale so it's all accurate.

    Besides that, the nutrition is still good and it tastes delicious!

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  71. I made this today...followed the recipe but added a bit of green pepper and a couple handfuls do fresh spinach leaves (I snipped them with kitchen shears so they weren't so huge). I used more lemon juice and added some garlic. I actually whisked the lemon juice, EVOO in a bowl with the garlic, coarse sea salt & pepper. Delish! Thanks for the recipe! I have to say, make sure you use fresh tomatoes. There's nothing worse than ruining a recipe by using flavorless tomatoes!

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  72. Try adding some dried tarragon to the salad....for a flavor change.

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  73. I grilled some chicken & mushrooms to add as well as substituting capers for olives. Can't do olives. Was delicious!

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  74. I made this yesterday and am enjoying leftovers for lunch. It makes a ton - how long do you think it will stay fresh?

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  75. This was delic! I'm so glad I now have 2 yummy quinoa recipies. Need to find me some more :) tnx a bunch

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  76. Looks amazing. I think I'm going to cook this one tomorrow :-)

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  77. This was so good! I tried it last night with your Cilantro Lime Shrimp!

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  78. do you think some fresh parsley be a good addition to this recipe?

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  79. I am going to try this recipe with shrimp added in to make it a meal. It looks so delicious! :)
    Does it keep well? Its only me at home, and it might be a few days before I can finish it all

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  80. I made this yesterday and am having it for lunch today. So, so good. The feta is a must! The addition of shrimp sounds good too!

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  81. what is the equivalent of quinao. I don't believe I have ever seen it on the shelves in our Supermarkets.

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  82. What texture should the quinoa have once done and cooled? Mine is not burnt but still seems "wet". I am waiting for it to cool as I type :)

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  83. i'm making this for thursday and friday's dinner is it good overnight? or does it only taste good on the day you make it?

    http://teatimewithb.blogspot.com/

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  84. I made this for dinner for my husband and two kids and my parents. We ate it all up and I loved it so much I made it again to eat for lunch tomorrow. Paired wonderful with the piece of salmon on the grill...

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  85. I had to do things just a little differently since my husband dislikes olives and only likes red onions if they are cooked. So I omitted olives, and I sauteed the onion in a little bit of olive oil before adding it to the mix. Since I knew that omitting the olives would leave some flavor lacking, I doubled up on the onion, but still feel like there is something missing. Anyone who has made this without olives, did you substitute or simply omit? I'm trying to think what I can do to fill the void. Has anyone tried just a little bit of red wine or balsamic vinegar, and if so, how much? It's on the verge of awesome and I don't want to ruin it!

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    Replies
    1. foodsubs.com says to sub sun dried tomatoes or capers for kalamata olives. It should be something with a concentrated taste in a small package.

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  86. Do you think couscous work work in place of the quinoa?

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  87. I made this for dinner tonight and it was SO good. I used a little extra lemon because it's one of my favorite flavors, but it was SO good! This is going to be on heavy rotation in my house!

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  88. I have purchased the Sistema rice maker and it makes great foods, has great recipes and makes perfect quinoa.

    Make the 1 cup of raw pre-washed quinoa in 2 cups of flavored broth and microwave it on high 12 minutes. (Can use plain water if preferred).

    Remove from microwave and leave closed for 2 minutes. then fluff with a fork.

    Now you can add whatever you wish to it and it turns out perfect every time

    (My microwave is 900 watts) so judge accordingly for your micro wattage.

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  89. This is a fantastic approach making greek salad with quinoa!
    Loved the result!

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