The first time I made this for Mike to take to lunch he sent me a text while he was eating it. This is a big deal because I don’t receive texts from my husband very often during his workday. He wrote, “Wow this salad is really good, babe. Thanks for lunch.” Mike came home and raved about how much he loved this new recipe and then laughed because he felt like he had tortured everyone else in the reading room. “Why’s that?” I asked. “I hope you weren’t bragging that your food was better than theirs or something.”
“Oh no. I felt bad because even though I love Feta cheese, it stinks. I got to enjoy eating it, but everyone else had to just smell it!”
That comment made me laugh really hard and even though I had never thought about it, he’s right! So I guess the idea is that you shouldn’t take a big whiff of the Feta as you’re pouring it into the rest of the salad. If you can get past that, it’s all downhill from there. 😉 All joking aside, the Feta cheese really makes this recipe so you don’t want to forget it. I wanted to make this for my sister while I was home over Christmas, but with her being eight months pregnant I knew she shouldn’t have the Feta even though she loves it. I debated making this as is and then offering it to everyone except her, but that seemed a little torturous and just plain rude. Then I thought about just leaving the Feta out, but I couldn’t imagine this without the Feta. So I’m just going to have to wait until this summer when I’m close enough to have her over for lunch.
I usually make this for Mike and I to eat for lunch for a couple days, but I’ve also served it at potlucks and small get-togethers. Most people that aren’t familiar with quinoa shy away from it at first, but come back for seconds after being pleasantly surprised. I’ve been asked for the recipe, which is always a good sign and now I can finally say, “It’s online!”
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 15 oz can chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large tomatoes, diced and seeded
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup feta cheese (1 6 oz container)
- Rinse and drain quinoa, then place in medium saucepan. Add the 15 oz can of chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the quinoa boils for one minute, turn the heat down so it simmers. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed by the quinoa. Let cool to room temperature.
- While quinoa is cooling whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced shallot, oregano, salt & pepper in a small bowl. Let stand for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to merry.
- Combine vegetables, quinoa, chickpeas and olive oil dressing and mix well. Gently fold in feta cheese.
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