A Vegetarian Delight: For Lunch, Dinner or Special Occasions

I was introduced to Quinoa back during Goldie’s days, seeing real potential in this ancient food. We ran it as a special, but people didn’t know what to make of it, no less how to pronounce it (kee-nwah). But I stuck with it, and miraculously, the rest of the world has begun to catch on. This amazing whole grain is high in protein and fiber. It has no fat and is low in calories, qualifying it as a “miracle food”. Quinoa is also quite versatile. We’ve enjoyed it at breakfast with cinnamon, nuts, raisins and apples, substituted it for white rice in fried rice, and even baked it in parchment paper for an elegant meal.

With about 2 dozen ‘go to’ quinoa recipes, my favorite is Quinoa the Greek. Basically a take on the classic Greek salad without the lettuce, this dish is light, earthy, savory and salty. Beautifully balanced on its own, it also stands up wonderfully to wine.

QuinoaQuinoa The Greek.
1 c. quinoa
2 cups cucumber- about 2/3 conventional or 2 small Kirby cucumbers, seeded and cubed
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp white wine or tarragon vinegar
lemon juice, from 1 lemon
1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup loosely packed dill, chopped
2 Tbsp roasted peppers, chopped
12 pitted black olives, halved
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed
lemon zest, from 1 lemon
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
pepper to taste
1 -2 Tbsp olive oil

Add 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups boiling water. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Let sit five minutes. Fluff with fork and let cool.

Combine cucumbers with ½ tsp salt. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add vinegar, lemon juice, and dill. Add peppers, olives, lemon zest, capers, 1 Tbsp olive oil, pepper and ½ tsp salt. Add quinoa, stir well. Right before serving, stir in olive oil to taste.

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