Mediterranean Style Quinoa Salad


 Mediterranean Style Quinoa Salad

Back when I lived in California my boyfriend and I would go on hikes almost every weekend (gosh I miss the West coast weather!). If you have ever been North of the golden gate bridge you know that there isn’t much up there past Sausalito let alone vegan restaurants so we would often pack a lunch to bring with us. This salad or a variation of it, depending on what I had available that day, was always our go-to. It travels well and makes a ton so you can get multiple meals out of it. Our favorite way to enjoy it was sitting in the California sunshine on Stinson Beach usually eating it on top of lots and lots of fresh baby greens!

This is one of those recipes that I have been making for years. However, it has since evolved, from using store bought dressing and feta to the version I am sharing with you today. This is a perfect recipe to bring to family gatherings, potlucks, and to make as meal prep for the week. The dressing recipe that I use in this recipe also makes for a great marinade for grilled veggies!

For the salad:
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to directions on the package
1 medium red bell pepper, diced (~1 cup)
½ large cucumber, diced (~1 cup)
1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
⅓ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
¼ cup finely sliced green onion OR finely minced red onion

For the Lemon Herb Vinaigrette: 
Juice of 1 medium lemon
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil*
½ Tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. dried parsley
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. dried dill weed
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. salt

In a large mixing bowl add together all of the ingredients for the salad and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients for the lemon herb vinaigrette. Pour over the salad and stir to combine.

Serve cold alone or over mixed greens.

Makes 4-6 servings.

*I have made this recipe with and without olive oil. It works well both ways. Usually if I omit the oil I will add a Tbsp of the liquid from the jar of water packed Kalamata olives.

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