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This quick and easy side dish pairs the bold Mediterranean flavors of lime, Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and fresh parsley against the subtle backdrop of quinoa. Thanks to the naturally salty flavors of the olive brine and Feta cheese, this dish doesn’t need any added sodium to help balance the flavors. However, for best results, you’ll want to make this dish in advance to give the flavors a chance to blend.
Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe for Weight Watchers
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is a gluten-free substitute for rice and other grains in recipes. In terms of cooking, quinoa is similar to a whole grain but in fact, is a seed! This seed is from a goosefoot plant that is related to spinach and beets that is high in protein and minerals. It has become popular recently because of how versatile it can be as a side dish instead of pasta or rice. It's also a fantastic source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Is Quinoa better for you than rice?
Quinoa can be prepared in the same manner as white rice but is lower in carbs and higher in protein. While it is healthier, it also is a bit more expensive than other whole grains. In comparison to brown rice, quinoa is higher in iron and magnesium while brown rice is higher in manganese and selenium. Overall, quinoa has more nutrients making it the better choice.
How do you make Quinoa Taste good?
Like many other grains, quinoa has very little of its own flavor. If you are unfamiliar with it, it can come out bland and boring, leaving you no desire to try it again. Here are a few tips to making your quinoa taste better.
- Use vegetable or chicken stock instead of boiling it in water.
- Cook it with fresh herbs and spices, especially finely minced garlic or diced onions.
- Remember how we just said quinoa is a seed? Just like spices in seed form, toasting it before cooking will bring out the natural flavors. Use a cooking spray and toast the quinoa in the pan for about 2-3 minutes before adding the liquid to continue the cooking process.
- Treat it like oatmeal for a sweeter version of quinoa by adding fruit and a little of Walden Farms Maple Walnut syrup.
- Use in place of your ground meat in chili for a vegetarian version that won't leave you searching for the beef.
Do you need to wash Quinoa before cooking?
There are quite a few steps to take with Quinoa before you cook it, with rinsing being a major component in making it as flavorful as possible. Check out this video below from The Vegan Corner on How to Cook Quinoa.
What would you serve Quinoa with?
Quinoa is one of those versatile side dishes that you can serve with multiple main courses and adapt the recipe to suit the flavors. One Pan Rosemary Lemon Chicken is great for your meal prep each week and will pair well with this recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe
How Many Points Are In This Recipe?
With the new Plan, points can vary for diabetics. Points can also vary with different brands. Please use your recipe maker to determine your exact points.
Are You on WW Connect?
Find me on WW Connect @Sassycooking_Alyssa to see my full recipe list!
Sassy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a light, refreshing dish that packs a punch of flavor! It's made with quinoa as the base, which is cooked and cooled off before being combined with lime juice, kalamata olives, feta cheese and parsley. The lime juice, olives and cheese give this salad a bright, tangy flavor, while the parsley adds freshness and crunch.
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1/4 cup Lime Juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 2 oz Fat Free Feta Cheese, crumbled
- 2 oz Pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped with brine
- ¼ cup Fresh Parsley, stems removed and chopped
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- After rinsing quinoa and preparing it to be cooked, in a medium saucepan, toast the quinoa on medium heat with cooking spray for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a low and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. (About 15-20 minutes). Set aside, away from the heat for 5 minute before uncovering and fluffing with a fork.
- Start to combine the lime zest, juice, feta cheese, chopped olives and fresh parsley until well combined. Season with black pepper to taste.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 grams
Amount Per Serving Calories 86Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 1mgSodium 161mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 5g
*This is an automatic calculation by a third party app*
Print this recipe out and use my free printable recipe card above to share it with a friend, they will thank you later!
Looking for more Weight Watcher Friendly Recipes?
- Fruity Tiramisu Overnight Oats
- Instant Pot Pork Lo Mein with Shirataki Noodles
- The Health Benefits of Eating Salmon Dishes
- Summer Avocado Salad
- Picnic Perfection: Healthy and Easy-to-Prepare Snacks for Your Outdoor Adventures
- Zesty Lemon Popcorn
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