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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beat the Heat: The Perfect Summer Salad {Recipe}

This summer I discovered what I am considering to be the best summer salad I've ever had.

Now, if I'm being totally honest, the Watermelon Mint Feta salad I made for a fancy dinner earlier this summer would actually win that title. I consider that a fancy "side" though. So, for the purposes of (a) neat titling and (b) convenience, I'm giving this salad the title for now.

Here's why I think it wins:

1) This whole thing took 10 minutes to throw together. (I cooked the Quinoa the night before, but you want cooked cold Quinoa anyway)

 2) It's super-duper healthy. It'll feed your vegetarian friends. Or, add grilled chicken and you've turned it from a lunch salad, to a dinner entree'.

 3) It's just so darn colorful! The pop of red from the cherry tomatoes is exciting, but I actually really love the darkness from the Kalamata olives.

 4) You can get super creative with it. I'm almost embarrassed to call this a "recipe" because, really, I just threw a bunch of stuff together after seeing similar salads on various blogs. But really, any vegetables you have on hand will work.

But, since I'm calling this a recipe on here, I have to give you a list of ingredients I used. So here goes...

Quinoa Greek Salad
  • Quinoa (cooked, chilled), about 1 cup
  • Feta cheese -- as much as you want ♥
  • 1 can artichokes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 jar Kalamata Olives (get pitted if you can -- it really saves time!)
  • 1 bunch radishes (optional, but really all of this is)
  • Cavender's Seasoning & Olive Oil

So once everything's chopped up to the size you want it to be (think: will it fit on my fork?), just toss it together with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and a few sprinklings of Cavender's Seasoning. 

There's a few recipes out there where you make your own salad dressing, but I didn't really love that. It was a bit overkill, because there's already so many flavors in here. Plus, I like natural juices of the vegetables, and think the little bit of Olive Oil & Cavender's enhance them, without overpowering them.

Beware, this thing GROWS when putting it together. I had to use 3 different bowls last time, because I kept underestimating how big it actually gets. It's big. And it keeps well, so it's easy to make over the weekend & then eat for lunch throughout the week. You're welcome ;)

I made this for a party a few weeks ago, because we had a few vegetarian friends in tow & I didn't want to force them to eat the sausage we were grilling, and before I knew it the whole group - vegetarians and carnivores alike - had eaten the whole thing. Even a few who had never had Quinoa or a radish before.

So what I'm trying to say is: it's good. It's big. You should make it. ♥

[See also: Greek Pasta]

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  1. this salad seems amazing :)
    great post!!


  2. This looks delicious... I'm on a total quinoa kick and I may have to make it soon :)

  3. Thanks for sharing! I think I found my lunch for next week.

  4. This looks SO good. I have yet to try quinoa but I might just try it out with this recipe :)

  5. YUM! Sounds delicious, I gotta try this out. By the way I'm following you now, follow me back to keep reading from each other. :)

  6. Thank you for sharing this! It's great inspiration for some quinoa! I've been craving quinoa lately, but haven't felt inspired to throw something together. Now I don't have to thanks to you!

  7. Hmmm, what an interesting idea...this just made me hungry!!!

  8. Quinoa is one of the best things ever.. From a quinoa bowl for breakfast, quinoa in a berry/spinach salad or quinoa with beans, there are endless possibilities! It tastes great and it has a high amount of protein. I will definitely try this recipe.

    - Vee
    The Avenue Vee

  9. Holy wow! That sounds delicious. Quinoa is seriously the best! I may just have to take note and give this a try!

    xo Eden

  10. I just made this with homemade Greek dressing minus the artichokes (liked it without them).This is petty darn tasty. Thanks a bunch for this healthy recipe.

  11. I just made this with homemade Greek dressing minus the artichokes (liked it without them).This is petty darn tasty. Thanks a bunch for this healthy recipe.