Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl

Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori AveyOnline friend and fellow food blogger Jennifer Perillo pointed out on Facebook yesterday that Mercury is in retrograde. You may take astrology with a grain of salt (just like I take my French fries), but it sure would explain a lot about this month so far. Emotions are ramped up to the extreme, change is in the air and unexpected challenges are popping up Whac-A-Mole. But that’s life, right? Nobody has it “easy,” no matter how it may seem. Social media gives us this skewed perspective of how life plays out for those around us. People tend to share the celebration-worthy moments in their lives and leave out the rough patches. Facebook, as “social” as it may be, can actually feel like a pretty lonely place sometimes. These “social” networks don’t reflect reality. We all struggle, and everybody has their Mercury retrograde moments. It’s all about how you navigate the challenges. Do you shy away from them? Turn your back on the discomfort? Or view them as part of life’s learning process? I am slowly learning to welcome the challenges as opportunities for growth. And when the going gets really rough (which it does from time to time), I take a mental vacation… usually to the Greek islands.

I’ve never been to Greece, but it is at the very top of my bucket list. When I was a child, my grandfather would tell me colorful Greek tales– Zeus ruling Mount Olympus, Helen of Troy, the Trojan horse. I grew up knowing I had to visit this country, to soak in thousands of years of romantic, dramatic and tumultuous history. In the heart of the Mediterranean, Greece seems like the ideal place to take a break from reality. Sunny beaches, turquoise waters, ancient history, people with a love of food and a zest for life. Simple pleasures, healthy and delicious meals, a bouzouki playing in the distance… I wish I was there right this very moment.

Alas, Mediterranean travel is not in the cards right now. The superstitious say that you shouldn’t really travel at all when Mercury is in retrograde. I’m not sure if I buy that; if somebody handed me a ticket, I’d drop everything and leave today. At the very least, we can take a staycation and make a Greek-inspired meal. This Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl is Mediterranean goodness on a bed of grain-like seeds from the Andean region of South America. A bit of a cultural mish-mosh, sure, but the flavor here is all Greek. Lemon dill quinoa and chickpeas make a protein-filled base for fresh, flavorful toppings… crunchy cold lettuce and cucumbers, sweet ripe tomatoes, briny kalamata olives and creamy salty feta. A drizzle of olive oil and a splash of fresh lemon juice are the only dressing you’ll need.

So go on, take a break from reality and eat like a Greek. Download some bouzouki music on iTunes, pour a glass of ouzo, and forget about Mercury being in retrograde. Kalí óreksi!

Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori Avey

Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cooked or canned
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 large lemon, juiced, or more to taste
  • 2 cups shredded hearts of romaine (or your favorite green)
  • 3 small Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Kosher Key: Dairy - omit cheese to make Pareve
  • Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a mesh strainer or sieve, drain.
  • Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori AveyPour quinoa into a saucepan along with 2 cups of water, oregano and 1/8 tsp salt (if salt sensitive, just use a pinch). Bring the quinoa to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot. Let the quinoa simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • While quinoa is steaming, prep your vegetables (chop, shred, etc.). Once they're prepped I like to put them in bowls for easy assembly.
  • Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori AveyAfter the quinoa has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chickpeas. Recover the pot and steam for about 5 more minutes till water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Uncover the pot and stir in the fresh dill and lemon juice; add more salt and lemon juice to taste, if desired.
  • Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori AveyAssemble your quinoa bowls. Divide the quinoa mixture evenly between each bowl (about 1 cup each). For each of the following ingredients, divide them evenly between the four bowls...
  • Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori AveyTop each bowl with shredded romaine and sliced Persian cucumbers.
  • Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori AveySprinkle on kalamata olives, tomato quarters and crumbled feta.
  • Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori AveyDrizzle the bowl with extra virgin olive oil and squeeze on some fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired (the feta is salty so go easy on the salt till you taste it). Serve.
  • Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori AveyYou can also add some thinly sliced red onion to the bowls if you wish. I'm not a big fan of raw onion so I don't use it. As you can see these bowls are very customizable; feel free to change up the toppings as you like.
  • Greek Salad Quinoa Bowl Recipe - Healthy Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipe by Tori Avey

Comments (22)Post a Comment

    1. Quinoa has a very unique flavor, it’s hard to describe. The texture is somewhat reminiscent of couscous. It’s somewhat neutral, like rice, and takes on the flavor of the ingredients it is cooked with. It has a lot more protein than rice and pasta, so it’s a nice nutritional boost. You can use cooked rice as a substitute if you prefer, or couscous (cooking instructions would vary based on the substitute you’re using).

  1. I see this recipe is gluten free. I have seen so many gluten free this gs now. I don’t need to watch. I know a lot of people can’t have it. I am not one. It seems like they are ramming it down our throats. Even at my Kroger they changed the packaging of Kroger Chips which I’d fine but they are now ALL gluten free! Not right! If I want regular I have to buy Lays which would be fine but they are more expensive

    1. Bev Hoffman-Rush I have several categories on my website for different dietary restrictions; gluten free is one, vegan is another, nut free, dairy free, etc. etc. Whenever a recipe fits into a category, I add it there. So yes, this recipe is gluten free, however I am not a gluten free person (I love bread and pasta). I posted this recipe because I like quinoa, which happens to be gluten free and super nutritious. Adding the recipes to the appropriate categories allows readers to search for recipes that they can enjoy based on their own unique needs. I have a lot of readers who are gluten free, and I am happy to provide options for them. Re: Kroger chips, as Mary DellaMora notes, many potato chips are gluten free because potatoes are naturally GF, so the recipe for those chips likely didn’t change even if the packaging did. I’d say try a bag and see if they taste the same as you remember– they probably just added the note for those who have a problem with gluten.

  2. By the way…all potatoes are gluten free. Gluten is in grains. As far as chips go the gluten may be in the seasonings that are used. Sounds like Kroger may just be repackaging to let people know that potato chips don’t contain gluten, because potatoes are not a grain and contain no gluten. Maybe read the ingredients on Lays and if there’s nothing different buy the Kroger chips that cost less. Just a thought.

  3. Mary DellaMora I have tried the salt and vinegar chips which I loved from the old packaging. They were awful! I didn’t know potatoes were gluten free but there is something I cannot abide. Guess I will stick to Lays

    1. Bev Hoffman-Rush what you read makes sense, because a lot of gluten free substitutes (packaged gluten free breads, cookies, crackers, etc.) actually contain more calories than the real thing. Naturally gluten free foods like quinoa, vegetables and fruits are healthy and nutritious, though, so no need to avoid those. And if you don’t have gluten intolerance or celiac, no need to avoid healthy whole grains either. Believe me, I wouldn’t give up my toast and butter in the morning unless I absolutely had to! :)

  4. I love Greek salad but very disappointed when I bought it from McDonald, they chopped up all veggie to tiny and with a salad dressing and not one piece of feta cheese in it. I said to the staff that that was not Greek Salad at all, did you give me the wrong salad? She said no that was Greek Salad. Thanks for sharing as I remember the taste was a bit salty from the Feta cheese and sour. Now I know how to make them. Yours have quinoa, chickpeas added, so it can be for lunch as a meal !! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hey Tori!
    Another delicious recipe. I want to try it with quinoa. I have only had 2 experiences with quinoa. I tried making it once and I think I did it wrong or got some bad stuff. It smelled like dirty feet and stunk the whole house up. I tried it again at sweet tomato. It didn’t taste too bad, but it did kind of have a dirt flavor… What is a good brand to try for quinoa? Also, is that dirt taste normal? If it is I will give it another shot with a more open mind, I just never knew what to expect.

    I can’t wait to try this one!

    1. Hi Stephanie, I wouldn’t say quinoa tastes like dirt, but it does have a unique flavor. It’s possible you may not like the flavor itself and it won’t matter which brand you buy, however if you want to try again I recommend trying an organic brand and rinsing it really well in the mesh colander before cooking. Oftentimes people skip the rinsing step, which rids the quinoa of a semi-bitter film that makes it taste kind of bad. If you try this and still don’t like the flavor, I would suggest substituting cooked rice or couscous. Good luck!

  6. I read the recipe ingredients again and noticed you use Persian cucumbers? Can you find them in a regular grocery? Are the much different than regular cucumbers?

    1. Persian cucumbers are small, thin cucumbers. If you can’t find them at the grocery store, use peeled regular cucumber or use the cucumber that is wrapped in plastic (no need to peel if it has plastic on it, that means it doesn’t have wax on it like the other cucumbers do).

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