An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Minty Mediterranean Quinoa

Monday, January 15, 2018

Minty Mediterranean Quinoa

A healthy, protein packed vegetarian meal full of Mediterranean flavors


Last Thursday I posted about why I'm a semi-vegetarian, what that means and why it's important for my personal health and the health of the planet (it's the post just below this one if you're in a scrolling mood). Changing your diet can be overwhelming at first, but once it becomes normalized it becomes a habit and once it becomes a habit, you're set in your new healthier lifestyle! I mentioned that I eat a ton of quinoa, and this minty Mediterranean quinoa is one of my favorite ways to prepare it.


There are two big factors to this meal tasting amazing: 1) you HAVE to use fresh herbs (mint and parsley) and 2) go light on the feta. I'm a massive cheese lover and support eating cheese at any and all times, but feta has such a strong, distinct taste that it can overtake a dish. Too much feta in this minty Mediterranean quinoa and it goes from being a light, fresh tasting meal to coating your mouth in a thick feta film that I personally find water won't rise away.


Minty Mediterranean Quinoa
- 1 package quinoa (16oz)
- 1 package grape tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 of a small to medium red onion
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (red wine vinegar would also work)
- 1 15oz can garbanzo beans
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon dried onion
- 1 6oz container of feta cheese
- salt and pepper

How to best cook quinoa
Start by making the quinoa. I find that if I follow the directions on the package, it turns out mushy. The best way I've found to make quinoa is to do slightly less than a 1:2 ratio (one cup quinoa to slightly less than 2 cups of water). Bring the water to a boil and salt it, then add the dried onion. Cook  covered on medium low heat until the water is gone, then turn off the heat and let the quinoa "steam" in the covered pan for another half an hour. Your quinoa will turn out fluffy and not over-cooked this way, and flavored perfectly with the salt and dried onion.


While the quinoa is cooking, chop up the cucumber in bite size pieces, halve the grape tomatoes and finely chop the red onion. Add to a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Pick the parsley and mint leaves off the stems and finely chop them, adding them to the bowl. In my opinion, the more fresh herbs the better this dish is! Mix together and let marinate while the quinoa cooks and cools.


Once the quinoa is room temperature, add the garbanzo beans to the mixing bowl. Fold in the quinoa. Mix in about 4-5 ounces of the feta (you can always add more or leave the extra for people to top their individual bowls). This dish can be served room temperature or it can be made ahead and served cold from the fridge. It will keep for about 3-4 days in a sealed container in the fridge and easily serves 4-6 adults.

Want more healthy vegetarian recipes? Check these out:
Crock Pot cream of mushroom soup (great for eating or for casseroles)  

Healthy vegetarian quinoa recipe
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Quinoa is an awesome choice for vegetarians (or semi vegetarians like me) because it's an ancient grain that's a complete protein. It's also gluten free, so it meets a variety of dietary needs! You could keep the feta on the side and this dish would be totally vegan, too. It's exciting to see people become more aware of what they're putting into their bodies, and make better choices for themselves and the environment. This minty Mediterranean quinoa is a great recipe to support healthy eating!

13 comments:

  1. That looks like an awesome salad, full of good stuff. Will definitely try it soon. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Looks great! Thank you for the slightly less than 1:2 ratio! I'll have to try that one because I haven't had a lot of luck getting quinoa to turn out just right.

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  3. This really does look delicious. I totally agree with the tip about feta.

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  4. oh yum! What a unique recipe! I love that you added mint.

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  5. I love Quinoa! I'll have to try this recipe. I'm a semi vegetarian myself.

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  6. This looks so yummy! I'm always looking for tasty/healthy recipes.

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  7. This really does look delicious. i will definitely try it.

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  8. The flavors in this sound amazing!

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  9. This looks so yummy. I'll have to try it!

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  10. Meanwhile, I still can't get quinoa to work for me. I still don't know what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I just don't care for it? It just always tastes dirty to me even with rinsing. This looks yummy, though!

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  11. We used to make quinoa all the time, and haven't in a while. Time to break it out and try this recipe! Looks super good!

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  12. omg this looks so YUMMY!! I need to make this soon!

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