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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 7 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 22 Minutes + 15 Quinoa Rest Time
  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Category: Salad, Lunch
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Description

This beautiful salad is life and so much more than meets the eye; it’s absolutely bursting with flavor! Healthy and utterly delicious, this easy to make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is filled with nourishing, feel-good ingredients.  Perfectly fluffy quinoa, hearty cannellini beans, juicy grape tomatoes, peppery baby arugula, tangy Kalamata olives, sweet sundried tomatoes, and flavorful roasted red peppers covered with an irresistible dressing packed with herbs, spices and vinegary goodness. Serve as a filling salad or add as the perfect filling inside your favorite wraps; an excellent meal for lunches and dinners alike!

Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.


Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of “How to CookPerfectly Fluffy Quinoa
  • 1 – 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 grape tomatoes (or 8 cocktail tomatoes), halved
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup roasted red pepper strips*

Dressing Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup finely diced red onion*
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, soaked and chopped (about 2 Tablespoons) *
  • 4 Kalamata olives, chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon miso *
  • 2 teaspoons organic maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt(+/-) *
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make one recipe of “How to Cook Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa”. Set aside.
  2. In the meantime, place 4 sundried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes. Then drain off the water and chop into small pieces.
  3. Make the salad dressing (include the finely diced red onion, chopped sundried tomatoes and chopped Kalamata olives) by adding all the salad dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisking until well combined. The dressing will seem thick because of the chopped red onion, sundried tomatoes, and olives, but that is fine. Set aside.
  4. Place the cooked quinoa, and all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and then add in the salad dressing, tossing gently until everything is coated in the dressing.
  5. Serve immediately at room temperature.

Notes

*Roasted Sweet Peppers:  We used Mancini Roasted Sweet Peppers.  They are beautifully sweet, Whole Food Plant Based compliant, and have excellent flavor; however, you can roast your own peppers if you like. Place the oven rack near the top and set the oven to high broil. Place one large (or two small) red bell pepper on a baking sheet and broil on high, turning occasionally until the pepper is soft and the skins are dark (black). This takes about 10-15 minutes (or longer depending on the size of the peppers). Immediately place the pepper in a glass container and cover with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid to sweat the pepper. This helps with removing the skins and seeds. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool. take the cooled pepper and pull the stem off and discard; then tear open one side of the pepper and scoop out the seeds (discard), then lay the pepper out flat, charred skin side up, then pull and scrape off the charred skins and discard. Then cut into thin strips.

*Miso:  We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free.  Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil.  If you are going to live the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle, then you will quickly find that miso is your friend.  Miso is simply a paste made from fermented soybeans, barley or rice malt. We use a gluten-free mellow white miso. It is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, and most grocery or health food stores carry it these days. You can find it in the refrigerator section.  A lot of Vegans and Whole Food Plant Basers call it “the secret weapon” because it really brings that rich umami flavor forward in a lot of dishes.  Since we discovered it, we use it a lot simply because it really adds something special to our dishes that you just can’t get with other ingredients.  It has a long refrigerator shelf life because it is fermented.  So, if you can’t find it locally, we suggest that when you are taking any trips out of town, find a store that carries it, take a small ice chest and stock up

*Red Onion:  Placing the red onion directly in the dressing allows the red onion to marinate and it also removes any sharpness that the red onion may have. This is optional, but we really enjoy how mellow and sweet the red onion becomes.

*Sundried Tomatoes:  We used Mediterranean Organic Sundried Roman Tomatoes. Be sure to select oil free sundried tomatoes. They are typically dried like dates.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Servings:  4 

*Storage:  Refrigerate, use within 5 days.