Monday, April 14, 2014

Springtime Quinoa with Green Peas, Feta and Mint

Springtime Quinoa with
Green Peas, Feta and Mint
It is finally Springtime here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, although this past weekend felt more like summer with temperatures reaching into the upper 70s.  The only things missing were the leaves on the trees, green grass and flowers.  Not that I was complaining.  I spent as much of the weekend as possible outdoors, raking my recently thawed garden beds, sitting on my front steps enjoying the sun and playing baseball with my kids.  And the best way to celebrate the end of what I think was one of the stormiest and coldest winters I have ever experienced, is to eat a couple of good meals outside, listening to the sounds of birds chirping, wind blowing and children yelling. :)

Although I couldn't go to my barren garden to get any of the fresh ingredients for this dish yet, I definitely plan to make it again once I have my own green peas and mint growing in abundance. The combination of the mint, the feta and the Greek olives give this salad a Mediterranean twist that tastes as fresh and wholesome as it is good for you.  If you are like my husband and I and have never been keen on the strong flavor of regular quinoa, you really should give organic red quinoa a chance.  It has a much milder flavor, while still providing a large serving of protein and fiber.  It cooks up quicker than rice and can be served warm or cold.  We ate this salad the night I made it with a side of rotisserie chicken and organic grape tomatoes, but it honestly tasted better the next day straight out of the fridge.  The perfect Spring (or Summer!) salad is only about 30 minutes away!

Springtime Quinoa with Green Peas, Feta and Mint

3 C. cooked organic red quinoa
2 C. cooked organic green peas, fresh or frozen
8 ounces feta
1 C. kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 C. finely diced red onion
1/4 C. chopped fresh mint

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
zest of two lemons
salt and pepper
ready to mix together

In a large bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa, cooked green peas, feta cheese, olives, diced red onion and fresh mint.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the zest of two lemons.  Pour dressing over the quinoa mixture and stir well to combine.  Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 main dish servings.

all mixed together and ready to serve

perfect dinner portion

served with a side of rotisserie chicken
 and organic grape tomatoes

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