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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Did anyone else happen to see the Dr. Oz show yesterday?  Dr. Oz had a segment titled “Three Dangerous Food Toxins,” where he highlighted the levels of Mercury, Bisphenol-A (or BPA) and pesticides in our foods.  The show cited a recent study that estimates, “90% of us have measurable levels of BPA in our blood stream.”  The BPA is coming not only from clear, hard plastics (like Polycarbonate) but in many canned foods.  Consumer Reports recently tested 19 name brand canned foods and “nearly all of them contained some level of BPA.” They also noted that “canned organic foods did not always have lower levels of BPA than the non-organic brands.”  I especially love this one: they “even found the chemical in some products in cans that were labeled BPA-free!


Oprah is doing a show today (1/27/10) titled, “Before You Grocery Shop Again: Food 101 With Michael Pollan.”  Set your DVR (or VCR 🙂 )!

Anyway, onward and upward…

I actually got to meet one of my readers who lives in the Albuquerque area (and who also went to The Ohio State University, GO BUCKS! Seriously, what are the odds??) this past weekend at the local GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) bi-monthly potluck. Renee brought the following Quinoa Salad and OMG, it was soooo good! I did not get to have much at the potluck because as usual, I was late and it was almost gone when I got there! Renee kindly sent me the recipe so I could make more at home and also share the recipe with everyone.

Renee got the following recipe from Inca Organics.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

2 cups Quinoa, cooked in 4 cups of water as directed (I used a blend of two varieties of Quinoa, see below)

2 cups lightly cooked Green Peas

1/2 large Red Onion, diced

1 Red Bell Pepper, diced

1 Green Bell Pepper, diced

1/2 c sliced pitted Black Olives (I used Kalamata Olives)

1 cup Golden Raisins

1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh Dill, chopped

1/4 cup Pine Nuts, toasted

1/2 cup Vinaigrette (See Below)


Whisk all ingredients together:

1/8 c Balsamic Vinegar

1/8 c White Wine Vinegar

1/4 c Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Sugar

1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard

2 cloves Garlic

1/2-1 tsp Salt to taste (I used Kosher Salt)

1/4-1/2 tsp Pepper to taste

  • Cook quinoa according to directions. Fluff with fork and cool.
  • Cook peas (I cooked mine in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, then immediately put in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process, this will prevent your peas from turning an undesirable green color) and cool.
  • When quinoa is cool, mix all ingredients together.
  • Toss with vinaigrette.

Taste and add more salt if desired.

For more on: Ancient Brand Quinoa

Health benefits of: Phosphorus

For more on: Country of Origin (COO)

Bob's Redmill Organic Quinoa at Costco.

The package of the Ancient Brands quinoa was not quite 2 cups worth, so I topped it off with the Bob's Redmill quinoa.

Cooking Quinoa is very similar to cooking rice, only a shorter cooking time... 15 minutes!

Weaning off the canned veggies! This is Albertson's Store Brand of Organic Frozen Peas.

Boil peas in water for 1 minute...

When peas are done cooking, remove from boiling water (I used a strainer) and put in an ice bath...

Toast pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat. Watch closely or they will burn!

Throw everything except the vinaigrette in a bowl and toss to combine (the quinoa is buried underneath the vegetables). Once combined, toss with the vinaigrette!

All four of us LOVED this salad! If quinoa is a new flavor for you that you haven't completely "embraced" yet, the vinaigrette does a wonderful job of hiding quinoa's "earthiness."

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  1. Heidi,

    I love this new printer-friendly format! (It really works for me~ thanks!)


    • Julie,

      Thanks for the feedback, it is so helpful. I found a new toolbar gadget that can help even more, you can even change the font and font size size to make it bigger, check out this link:

      You will still want to highlight the recipe portion, then print the highlighted selection only so you do not print the photos and use up all of your color ink cartridges! 🙂

  2. This looks great. I'm going to add to my Quinoa to-do list.

  3. I wish I could quit my job(s) and just cook all of your recipes and write about them. Kinda like Julie & Julia… lol. This looks delicious and is definitely going into my repertoire. I love making salads with quinoa, especially after the joyful realization that I could replicate tabouleh with it. I made that for a houseful of non-GF friends last month while on vacation, and everyone loved it. Hooray for quinoa!


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