For someone that hates to be late to anything It seems I am always last to jump on the bandwagon when trying new ingredients in the kitchen. For the first time ever I have tried Quinoa! I tried it in this layered Mason jar salad and now I am a huge fan!
Quinoa, pronounced (keen-wah), is considered to be a whole grain but it actually is not. It’s a seed and it’s gluten-free, cholesterol-free, high in protein, and provides 9 essential amino acids. It is thought to help stave off a number of diseases, reduces the frequency of migraines and reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks.
I love to keep these layered jar salads in the fridge for quick and easy lunches or those dinners when you have no time to cook. They generally start with the dressing in the bottom of the jar, followed by the hardier ingredients, keeping the lettuce near the top of the jar to keep the salad crisp. This salad will last 3 to 4 days stored in the refrigerator.
Greek Quinoa Layered Jar Salad
- 4 quart Mason jars, with lids
- 1 c. Quinoa
- 2 c. vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill
- ¼ c. diced red onion
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ hothouse cucumber, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- ½ c kalamata olives, seeds removed and cut in half
- 5 oz. feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- Combine rinsed Quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes or until Quinoa has absorbed all of the broth.
- Turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot. Let Quinoa steam for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in chopped dill and red onion. Let cool.
- Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and Dijon until mixed well. Divide evenly between the 4 quart jars. Layer the veggies in the jar starting with the tomatoes, the bell pepper and cucumber.
- Divide the Quinoa among the jars, spooning it in. Top with feta and olives. At this point you can press down the ingredients slightly in the jar.
- Top off each salad with a handful of chopped lettuce. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Pour the contents into a bowl when you are ready to eat!
In Georgia we are lucky enough to enjoy all four seasons. I love the holidays that come with winter and the occasional snow, the beautiful flowers of spring and the perfect temperatures, the barefoot and beach days of summer along with the fresh garden produce, and the crisp air, apples, and beauty of fall. It never fails, when a new season starts to come around I’m more than ready for the change. In my lifetime, I have lived several places throughout Georgia and even in Florida for a few years. I love the south and there is no place I would rather be!
The warm days that we had recently have me longing for summer! I’m ready to pack up the sweaters and boots and pull out the shorts and flip-flops. Along with the clothing changes I’m also ready for the menu changes. Salad weather is just around the corner, but I couldn’t wait! I made this wonderful Greek Chickpea Salad for my family to enjoy over the weekend. It’s easy and versatile and full of wonderful flavor! This recipe is really just a guide because you can use the ingredients that you and your family enjoy. I like cucumbers in my salad but my mother-in-law prefers artichokes, so mix it up and have fun with it. This is best made a few hours before serving.
Greek Chickpea Salad
- 2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or mint
- ¾ c. chopped bell pepper
- ½ pint halved grape tomatoes
- ¼ c. red onion, chopped
- ¼ c. halved kalamata olives
- ½ cucumber, seeded and chopped
- ½ c. feta, cubed or crumbled
- 15-oz. can artichokes, drained
- 3 tbsp. plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- pinch of granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Combine chickpeas, parsley, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, onion, olives, cucumber, feta and artichokes in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl mix yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, minced garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and sugar together with a whisk. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until well incorporated.
- Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Store in the refrigerator for several hours before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.