Enjoy this hearty, protein-rich salad as the main event for lunch or a light dinner. Or serve it as a tasty side with grilled meat or poultry.
1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed in a sieve
4 small tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ teaspoon salt
– Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup Kalamata olives, drained
2 (10-ounce) cans chickpeas or white beans*, rinsed and drained
½ cup fresh mint leaves
3 ounces goat’s feta cheese, optional
1. Cook quinoa in plenty of gently boiling water for about 12 to 15 minutes or until it softens (organic quinoa may take a few minutes longer). Tip quinoa into a fine sieve, make several steam holes through it with a skewer, and let it drain.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half. Remove the cores and seeds. Chop flesh coarsely. Set aside.
3. Mix the oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa, black olives and chickpeas.
4. Just before serving, add the tomatoes and mint. Crumble the feta, if using, into the salad. Toss gently and serve.
Each serving contains 338 calories, 13g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 12mg cholesterol, 459mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 11g protein.
Australian food writer Julie Biuso is author of 16 cookbooks.