Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
My mind is craving all things soup, chili, stews and cozy fall foods. However, my body is still craving fresh summer fruits and veggies. I feel conflicted and torn. I want to want snuggle up in a big bowl of chili and cornbread, but not on an 80-degree day. I do not care if it is October or not I just can't. I am actually not mad at all about the warm fall so far. I not a fan at all of the cold, so the longer warmth lingers around here the longer I can put off pulling out the bulky winter coat. I am a big fan of that!
I have been craving cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions recently. Actually since my sweet college roomie and her husband came and stayed a weekend with us not too long ago. She talked about how she was eating them as a salad every day and the craving monster hit my mind and tummy hard. Like that's all I want to eat, which is weird because it wasn't long ago I hated all three of those veggies. Now all I want is for them to be tossed lightly in balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. It is delicious, promise, you have to try it. Taste buds change, I can't explain it but I am glad they do.
So thank you to my roomie for this salad inspiration. I thought I would take those basic flavors and turn it up a notch to turn it into a more hearty side or salad in the form of Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.
It takes about 30 minutes to make (thanks to roasting the chickpeas--it's a must, but you can totally just add a drained can and cut down on prep time). While those are roasting, make quinoa according to package directions. Diced your cucumber and onion. Add to a bowl along with the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and feta. Make the simple lemon dressing (which I only ended up using about half of). Add in quinoa and chickpeas once finished, toss, add dressing, toss and done!
You can serve this as a side, eat as a mid-day snack or add on top of a bed of spinach with some turkey meatballs for dinner (this may or may not be what I planned for dinner tonight). Keep covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and enjoy some meal prep work being finished.
It is healthy, light and still savoring all of the flavors of summer with a Mediterranean twist. Not to worry, I have plenty of cozy and hearty meals coming your way, just not until the weather cools a little. In the meantime get filled up on Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and enjoy!