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Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Grape Tomatoes & Feta Cheese

Greek Quinoa SaladIf you want to eat healthier in 2015, I’ve definitely got the salad for you! It’s similar to a Greek salad, but with a twist. It also contains quinoa and black beans, which gives it more protein, fibre, and nutrition, along with more disease-fighting power too. It’s a great take-to-work (or school) lunch. Make it on the weekend and enjoy it all week long. It’s also a delicious filling to use in sandwich wraps (be sure to use 100% whole grain wraps). My neighbours – adults and kids – love it!  Enjoy!

Serves 5

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa (which will make 3 cups/750 mL cooked quinoa)
½ cup (125 mL) diced red onion
1 small orange or yellow sweet pepper, diced
½ english cucumber (about 1 cup/250 mL), seeds removed and diced (leave skin on)
2 cups (500 mL or 1 dry pint) of grape tomatoes, halved
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, no added salt, drained and rinsed
½ cup (125 mL) chopped black olives (pits removed)
1 cup (250 mL) freshly chopped parsley
1 cup (250 mL) freshly chopped basil
1/3 cup (75 mL) light, shredded feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup (75 mL) orange juice
3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
zest (grated peel) of one small lemon
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
1. Cook 1 cup (250 mL) of quinoa according to package directions. Cook with low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, instead of water, for more flavour. Set aside to cool.
2. Put diced or chopped onion, pepper, cucumber, grape tomatoes, black olives, parsley, and basil, along with black beans and feta cheese in a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa.
3. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined. Let sit for at least one hour before serving or put in the fridge to enjoy later in the week (keeps for about 3 to 4 days.).

Nutritional Information Per Serving (2 cups/500 mL): 248 calories, 12g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 26g carbohydrates, 3g sugars, 7g fibre, 11g protein, 350mg sodium

 

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Liz

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