Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I needed to come up with a large dish for our church potluck tomorrow…and that is where one of my favorite staples comes in. Quinoa!

When I began cooking it, I didn’t know what exactly I was going to do, but I knew it needed the flexibility of a cold dish. I always get to church early in the morning for a second music practice, so bringing something hot just doesn’t work.

I love the way this turned into a delicious Mediterranean salad!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 4 cups water
  • Black pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Lots of fresh basil
  • 3 lemons for juice
  • A little bit of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 fresh cloves of garlic, minced

Directions:

  • Put 4 cups of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in 2 cups quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water. (You may want to check on it a few times. If all the water soaks up too soon the quinoa will become really crunchy.).
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Let quinoa cool and then put it into a large serving dish.
  • Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and pepper. Stir thoroughly.
  • Cut up the fresh basil and tomatoes. Add to the quinoa, mixing.
  • Finally, add the quinoa and you are ready to serve this yummy dish.

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A Warm Mexican Style Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Black Bean Salad

The first meal I cooked in our new home! And if you know me well, you are not at all surprised that it has quinoa in it. πŸ˜‰

Such a colorful salad with so many healthy and delicious ingredients in it! And it was just as delicious as it was those other things! My hubby…my mom….we all thought so!

A Warm Mexican Style Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Black Bean Salad

*Created by Lori atΒ Creating Beauty in the KitchenΒ 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • About 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large avocados
  • Lots of fresh Cilantro
  • Honey
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Chile Powder
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 white onion
  • Olive oil
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

  • After peeling the sweet potatoes, boil them for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, put 4 cups of water into a pot and boil. When it begins to boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on it, and let simmer for about 12 minutes.
  • By now, your sweet potatoes will be ready to cut up. Slice them into small pieces. Set aside.
  • Dice up a white onion and put it in a skillet with some olive oil, Saute for a few minutes. Add in the garlic, sweet potatoes, chili powder, and honey.
  • When the quinoa has finished simmering for 12 min, take it off the heat, stir, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Cut up the avocado (I mashed it up a bit), adding the lemon juice from 1/2 of a lemon.
  • Slice the tomatoes in half and set aside. Wash and cut up the fresh cilantro.
  • Add the drained and rinsed black beans to the skillet with the sweet potatoes. Add more chile powder and the juice from the other half of the lemon. Mix around and let heat. Make sure to stir often, so your sweet potatoes don’t get burnt.
  • When this is finished, add all your ingredients together. Add some extra sauce by using a mixture of honey, balsamic vinegar, and more chile powder (depending on how spicy you want it.)

Enjoy!

My Signature

Black Bean, Kale, & Quinoa Salad with a Spicy Honey & Red Wine Vinegar Dressing

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I love salads that are full of taste! I used to hate vegetables. I’d go to someone’s house and take the meat and potatoes and pass on the salad, peas, green beans, etc. A “meat & potatoes” girl…that is how I have always described myself. But now? Ah, give me a good salad! πŸ™‚

This one has so many of my new favorite things in it, and it was the first time I used quinoa in a salad. Would I do it again? Yes, yes, yes! So good! I am finding that putting quinoa and black beans in my salads, egg dishes, etc., really makes them so much more filling and delicious!

I used one of my new favorite combinations as a dressing for this salad: honey, chile powder, and red wine vinegar.

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Black Bean, Kale, & Quinoa Salad with a Spicy Honey & Red Wine Vinegar Dressing

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

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  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cups water
  • 1 can black beans
  • Kale
  • Red onions
  • Chili powder
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Honey
  • Red wine vinegar

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  • Put 1 cup of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water. (You may want to check on it a few times. If all the water soaks up too soon the quinoa will become really crunchy.).
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • While quinoa is cooking, cut up the onions. Pour the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onions, sauteing them. After a few minutes, add in the black beans and some chili powder and let cook, stirring occasionally.
  • Wash the kale and tear it into small pieces. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. Put some in two different bowls.
  • When quinoa is done, split it between the two bowls. Add in the bean/onion mixture.
  • Scoop out half of an avocado for each salad.
  • Combine the honey, red wine vinegar, and chili powder to make the dressing. I used more honey than I did red wine vinegar, but you might want to experiment and see what you like.

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Chicken & Red Quinoa with a Pomegranate Honey Sauce

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You might be thinking, “More quinoa?!” Absolutely! I am so glad I was introduced to this stuff because I totally love it! I created this recipe last night for dinner and decided to use the red quinoa instead of the white. I loved the way this meal came out, but I do definitely prefer the taste of the white quinoa. The red stuff has a harsher taste to it. It is still good, but not my preference. So, next time I will definitely make this with the white quinoa.

Do any of you have a preference on the white, red, or black quinoa? I would be curious to hear your thoughts.

The sauce was the perfect finishing touch to this meal! And cooking it in it, instead of just pouring it on it at the end, made the chicken super moist!

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Chicken & Red Quinoa with a Pomegranate Honey Sauce

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

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  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2-1 cup pure pomegranate juice
  • 1/2- 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup red onions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Black pepper

Β 

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  • Put 1 cup of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water. (You may want to check on it a few times. If all the water soaks up too soon the quinoa will become really crunchy.).
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, cut your small tomatoes in halves and set them aside. Dice up the onion.
  • Combine the honey and pomegranate juice and pour into a skillet. Add the chicken breasts and onions and cook on medium heat.
  • Sprinkle pepper over the chicken.
  • Flip your chicken occasionally, until they are cooked completely.
  • When both the quinoa and chicken are ready, place some quinoa on a plate, putting a piece of chicken on top of it. Cover the chicken with the onions and some of the leftover sauce.
  • Add the tomatoes to the plate.

Β 

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Mexican Breakfast Skillet with Quinoa & Black Beans

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I may try other things for breakfast, but I keep finding myself coming back again and again to either black beans, quinoa, or both. I just love them! They are so delicious when paired with the right ingredients! I don’t think I even need to tell you how much I loved this breakfast! πŸ™‚

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Mexican Breakfast Skillet with Quinoa & Black Beans

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

(For those of you doing the 21 day fix meal plan, the container count per person….remember that this recipe serves two people…is as follows: 1 red, 2 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green.)

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  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Fresh Cilantro (Lots of it πŸ™‚ )
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2-3/4 cup diced red onions
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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  • Put 1 cup of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water. (You may want to check on it a few times. If all the water soaks up too soon the quinoa will become really crunchy.).
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, cut your small tomatoes in halves, dice the onion, and chop up the cilantro.
  • When the quinoa is finished and in the process of sitting for its 15 minutes, that’s when you want to saute the onions. Put the olive oil in a large skillet, along with your onions. When they have been in for a few minutes, add the beans, chili powder, and cilantro.
  • When quinoa is ready, add it to the beans in the large skillet.
  • Move the quinoa, beans, and onions towards the sides of the pan, leaving room in the middle. Put the four eggs in the middle, making sure not to break the yokes and leaving enough distance between them that they would be hard to get out later.
  • Cook the eggs until the whites are white and not opaque. (Depending on how done you want your eggs will effect what you do next. If you want your yoke runny, you will want to make sure to move onto the next step while the yoke is still runny. If not, cook longer.)
  • Turn your oven onto Broil. Unless your pan can tolerate the high heat, leave the door open and your handle out as you broil the dish for about 2 minutes. Like I have mentioned before, make sure you use a skillet that is safe to do this with, and be careful that the handle doesn’t get too hot. You may need to grab it with a pot holder, even though it has been outside the oven.
  • While this is going on, slice open your avocado and get it ready to scoop out.
  • When the eggs are cooked to your liking, serve on a plate with tomatoes, avocado, and Monterrey Jack cheese.

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Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato with Avocado & Feta

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More quinoa anyone?! πŸ™‚ Why not stuff a sweet potato with quinoa, spices, avocado, and feta cheese?!

I randomly came up with this idea last night, and it totally worked! And it continues to do my heart good when I cook yet another recipe involving sweet potatoes that my hubby likes!

QUINOA STUFFED SWEET POTATO WITH AVOCADO & FETA

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

IngredientsFinal

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

DirectionsFinal

  • Measure out and rinse the quinoa.
  • Put 1 cup of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water.
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is sitting for 15 minutes, put holes in the tops of your sweet potatoes with a knife, place them on a microwaveable safe plate, cover them. and cook for about 12 minutes. (You could cook them in the oven too, but I was in a hurry and this worked great!)
  • Chop your garlic into small pieces. In a small saucepan, saute the garlic and basil with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  • When quinoa is all ready, pour the garlic and basil over it, along with the nutmeg and black pepper, mixing well.
  • Your potatoes should be done now. Put each on its own plate, slice them open and stuff them with the quinoa. Split the feta cheese between the two potatoes, and then spoon out some avocado for each.

Lori

Spicy Black Beans & Quinoa

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In case you may not have noticed, I have totally been on a quinoa kick! I love, love, love it!!

So, when I didn’t have anything planned for dinner last night I decided to make it into a main dish and combine it with another new favorite of mine: black beans. It didn’t matter that I had just had some for breakfast. πŸ™‚

We loved it and would definitely make it again and again! πŸ™‚

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SPICY BLACK BEANS & QUINOA

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

IngredientsFinal

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • 1/3-1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (Leave this or the Chili powder out if you don’t want too much spiciness. For our own preference, we would leave this out next time.)
  • 1 large tomato

DirectionsFinal

  • Measure out and rinse the quinoa.
  • Put 1 cup of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water.
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, chop the tomatoes and set aside in a dish.
  • Next, dice up the onion and chop up the cilantro.
  • Drain and rinse the black beans.
  • When the quinoa is done cooking and has been sitting for 5 or so minutes (in other words, you have 10 min left for it to sit), squeeze lemon juice from one whole lemon into a large skillet, adding in the black beans, cilantro, onions, chili powder, and cayenne.
  • Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • When the quinoa has finished sitting, add it to the skillet. Mix with the other goodies, adding 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes and then serve it on plates, adding the freshly cut tomatoes to the top.

Lori

Quinoa & Egg Skillet with Basil & Sun Dried Tomatoes

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Okay, so it seems like I have missed the mark today…I didn’t make something green for St. Patty’s Day. Does it count that I have fresh basil in this dish!? It is “green” after all. πŸ™‚ No, in all honesty, I didn’t even realize it was St. Patrick’s Day. Sometimes days just get here before I know it, and I guess today was one of those. πŸ™‚

This mornings breakfast reestablished that quinoa is one of my favorite things. I don’t know if it was how I cooked it (which was different from the other night), the fact that I used the white colored quinoa instead of red, or because it was just an entirely different dish, but we loved this so much more! Give it a try….honestly, we both really, really loved it!!

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QUINOA & EGG SKILLET WITH BASIL & SUN DRIED TOMATOES

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

IngredientsFinal

  • 1/2 cup white quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • About 2 tbsp chopped, fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

DirectionsFinal

  • Measure out and rinse the quinoa.
  • Put 1 cup of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water. (It took me 14 minutes).
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, cut up the basil, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes.
  • When you are in the final minutes of letting the quinoa sit, then put 1 tbsp of olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat and add the garlic, basil, and sun dried tomatoes. Cook them for a few minutes and then you should be ready to add in the quinoa.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. Add in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1 tbsp of olive oil and mix thoroughly.
  • Move the quinoa towards the sides of the pan, leaving room in the middle. Put the two eggs in the middle, making sure not to break the yokes.
  • Cook the eggs until the whites are white and not opaque. (Depending on how done you want your eggs will effect what you do next. If you want your yoke runny, you will want to make sure to move onto the next step while the yoke is still runny. If not, cook longer.)
  • Turn your oven onto Broil. Unless your pan can tolerate the high heat, leave the door open and your handle out as you broil the dish for about 2 minutes. Like I have mentioned before, make sure you use a skillet that is safe to do this with, and be careful that the handle doesn’t get too hot. You may need to grab it with a pot holder, even though it has been outside the oven.
  • Serve on a plate & sprinkle a little extra Parmesan cheese on top.

Lori

Spiced Blueberry & Dried Apricot Quinoa with a Blueberry Sauce

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I recently had quinoa for the first time, and to my surprise, I absolutely loved it! So, off to the store I went! Tonight I used red quinoa, and as usual, I had little idea as to what I could and would do with it. I chose these ingredients: dried apricots, blueberries, hazelnuts, olive oil, curry, cinnamon, black pepper, and rosemary. Again, unusual ingredients, but my gut told me they would work well together.

And they did! We really thought the ingredients complimented one another, but my hubby and I both felt like it was a little bland. I didn’t know if I should just keep trying to add more spices (I did this some)…all I knew is that I didn’t want to give up on this dish.

So, though I have never heard of someone doing this, I made a blueberry sauce to go over it. I thought, “Why not?!”Β  The sauce turned out great, and we liked the quinoa much better this way!

That said, to be honest, this isn’t a favorite of mine, but I still wanted to share it with you all in case it might turn into a favorite for you. πŸ™‚ If you have any ideas on how I could have made it less bland (besides making a sauce), please suggest away!

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SPICED BLUEBERRY & DRIED APRICOT QUINOA WITH A BLUEBERRY SAUCE

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

IngredientsFinal

For Quinoa:

  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 tsp curry
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • black pepper

For Blueberry Sauce:

  • About 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

DirectionsFinal

For Quinoa:

  • Chop up the hazelnuts and the dried apricots into small pieces.
  • Measure out the blueberries and set them aside.
  • Put the quinoa in a bowl with cold water covering it. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Use a strainer with very small holes to drain the water out of the quinoa. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Put the quinoa in a medium skillet that has a lid…you will want to use it later. Put it on medium-high heat. This is so you can toast the quinoa.
  • Stir until the quinoa has separated and begin to smell fragrant. (I really noticed a difference in the smell.)
  • Add 2 cups of water, and let it come to a boil.
  • Once it does, turn the heat down to low, put the lid on the pan, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then you will want to use a strainer to drain out the excess water. After you do this, put the drained quinoa back in the skillet.
  • Take it off the stove, cover it with a clean dish towel (it will soak up extra moisture), put the lid back on, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • After it has sat for 10 minutes, add in all your other ingredients. Stir thoroughly to get everything mixed in well.
  • Return the skillet to the stove on medium heat, stirring until everything is warm.
  • Serve in bowls.

For Blueberry Sauce:

  • Puree the blueberries in a food processor
  • mix the honey and cinnamon in with the pureed blueberries.
  • Pour over the quinoa.

Lori