Healthy Living February 27th & Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe

Avera's Dietitian Efrain talks about Quinoa & Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Author: a Couple Cooks Total Time 35 minutes

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes Yield: 4 1x


For the quinoa tomato sofrito

  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 1 small white onion (or 1/2 large)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Black pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

For the Mediterranean quinoa salad

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 romaine hearts
  • 1 large bunch Lacinato kale or 5 ounces baby kale
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles


    I.      Cook the quinoa (or use our Instant Pot quinoa method): Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water, then drain it completely. Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 17 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains. Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork.

     II.    Make the sofrito: Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté for 1 minute more. Pour the crushed tomatoes. paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and mix well. Simmer for about 15 minutes, with the lid at an angle, until slightly thickened. When the sauce is done, stir in the cooked quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.

    III.    In a medium bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, and kosher salt. Gradually whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil until the dressing is emulsified and creamy.

    IV.    In a small, dry skillet, toast the almonds over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant.

     V.    Chop the romaine and kale. Dice the cucumber. Slice the olives in half.

    VI.    To serve, place the greens in a bowl. Top with a layer of the quinoa, then cucumbers, olives, feta and almonds. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.


For the salmon

  • 4 salmon fillets (skin on or off)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

For the lemon dill sauce (makes about 3/4 cup)

  • Lemon dill salmon2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons water

Directions References

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Generously sprinkle the salmon with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake the salmon for about 10 minutes until flaky and just cooked; test it with a fork to assess doneness. Watch the salmon to make sure not to overcook; the timing can vary based on the thickness of the salmon and variations between ovens.
  4. While the salmon bakes, mix together the sauce ingredients, adding the water last. Use the water to bring it to a loose, drizzle-able consistency. (You may need a touch more depending on your yogurt brand.)
  5. Serve the salmon and garnish each fillet with 2 tablespoons of the lemon dill sauce. Save leftover sauce refrigerated.


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