Make it Naked

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (Gluten Free)

What’s about to happen here is two-fold. First, I will save your future self some massive heart ache and frustration, and then I will make you lunch. Have a seat. Stay a while. Here’s where I save you from having a complete and total melt down in the middle of the Apple store on a Sunday evening after your iPhone completely wipes itself clean, and a cute little Apple employee half your age says, “Don’t worry that’s what iCloud backup is for,” and then you say “iCloud what?” and then she says, “You have your iCloud backup on, right?” and then you say, “I have no clue what you’re talking about.” and then she shows you how to turn it on in less than 3 seconds, and instead of saying “thank you” like an adult, you cry like a baby, partly because you’re completely embarrassed and partly because one whole year of your life is gone. Pictures, apps, settings, pictures, videos, messages, pictures. Gone. Maybe most of you already know how to do this, if so, proceed with your tech-savvy self and enjoy this lunch I prepared. If not, DO THIS NOW. Don’t worry, no one will know, and then we’ll join all the smart people for lunch. OK. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s eat. I make a lot of quinoa now that I’m gluten free. I regularly cook up a huge batch over the weekend and then dress it up differently throughout the week. Sometimes I add berries, cinnamon and almond milk for breakfast. Sometimes I top it with chicken, peppers and onions for dinner. But most recently I’ve been mixing in a few Mediterranean flavors for a quick, nutrient-dense salad that’s perfect for lunch. Fresh peppers and cucumbers are chopped and mixed in for added crunch. Kalamata olives add a little saltiness. And, because I’ve never regretted it before, I mixed in feta cheese. Seriously, name one thing that does NOT taste good with the addition of feta. It’s hard, right? Lastly, I threw in some fresh basil and parsley. Don’t skip these. It doesn’t take much of either, but fresh herbs should really happen here. I’ve been a little obsessive with this salad lately. I recently made it for a gender reveal party. I’d show you pictures but…they were on my phone. I made it again for my sister’s baby shower. I’d show you pictures but…yeah. And again at beach week. I’d show you…actually, those pictures are probably better off lost, never to be seen again. Each time I serve this salad, I’m surprised by its popularity. I’ve been asked for the recipe several times, so here it is. Trust

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me; you’re going to want to save this one. And of course, back it up. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Ingredients: 1/2 cup uncooked black quinoa 1/2 bell pepper (yellow, red or orange will work), chopped About 15 cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 a cucumber, chopped (peel if desired) 6 oz feta cheese, chopped/crumbled 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Juice of 1/2 a lemon Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions. Be sure to rinse well before cooking. Allow quinoa to cool completely once cooked.
  2. Once quinoa is cool, in a large bowl combine the quinoa, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, olives, basil and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, spices and lemon juice.
  4. Pour over salad. Stir to combine and refrigerate. Enjoy!


  1. I give measurements here only so you can gauge and do your own thing with it. Omit olives, add more tomatoes. It’s up to you.
  2. I used black quinoa because I really like the texture better than the red or white variety. In my head black quinoa holds its shape and has less of a mush-factor. I don’t know if this is really true, but that’s the only reason I used black quinoa here. Any type will work.

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Posted on July 26, 2012

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