I created this recipe last year, but just realized I never blogged about it! This recipe is not IBS friendly, unless you leave out the shallots, which I have done and it is still very tasty (see my note at the bottom of this post for a low-FODMAP conversion). Quinoa is a food that makes my belly feel good. It's actually a seed, not a grain, and I think that's why it agrees with me. It's full of protein and fiber, but it's also full of carbs too. Oh well. I've come to realize that I do have to have carbs in my life if I want to be an energetic person. I just can't overdo it on the carbs. I have to watch them like a hawk. Got that carbs? I'm watching you......
This salad is very versatile. I've also made it with carrots, no olives and chopped baby spinach. As long as you have the lemon, feta and sunflower seeds, you will still have the great taste of this quinoa salad. It's a wonderful side dish to take to a picnic as a gluten-free substitute for pasta salad. In fact, I think I'm going to make this for a potluck picnic we are going to in a couple of weeks. I hope everyone attending enjoys it as much as we do.
Summertime Lemon-Feta Quinoa Salad
Gluten-Free, Not Low-FODMAP*
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup halved grape tomatoes
1-2.25 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower nuts
1 Tbsp. finely diced shallot
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Spread quinoa on a cookie sheet and allow to cool, about 30 minutes.
- Once quinoa has cooled, transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, olives, feta, sunflower nuts, shallots and parsley. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, the 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper.
- Pour lemon dressing over the quinoa salad and toss. This salad can be served immediately, or covered and refrigerated to serve later.
*For Low-FODMAP: replace shallots with 1 bunch of sliced scallions (green parts only), omit the garlic and use garlic oil instead of the olive oil.