Greek Quinoa Layered Jar Salad

Greek Quinoa Layered Jar Salad

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
 
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Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

 

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Favorite All-Around Marinade

steak marinade
We started cooking on a wood pellet grill several years ago.  We like the taste that it gives everything we cook.  We also enjoy the ease and convenience and we can change up the flavor slightly by changing up the wood pellets.  We were so pleased that we bought a second one just for tailgating.
My mother-in-law’s neighbors, Martha Ann and Bob, recently gave Greg a charcoal grill that they were throwing out.  Like a kid with a new toy, Greg brought it home, cleaned it up and fired it up.  We had not cooked on charcoal in years!  I had forgotten how delicious it was.  The charcoal gave the steaks a characteristic taste that I had not had in a long time.  It reminded me of our early years of marriage…before we could afford anything other than a charcoal grill.
We picked up a couple of steaks and I used my “go to” marinade recipe.  I have had this recipe for years and use it quite often.  It never fails to tenderize and lend great flavor to steaks, pork chops and chicken.  Most marinades consist of a fat, an acid, and seasonings.  However, when marinating red meat you don’t usually need the addition of extra fat.  If you want to use this recipe for pork or chicken simply add 1/2 cup olive oil.  The general rule of thumb for marinade is 1/2 cup marinade per pound of meat.  This recipe can easily be halved.

Favorite All-Around Marinade
 
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Ingredients
  • 3½ c. pineapple juice
  • 1 c. soy sauce
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • ½ c. red wine vinegar
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. finely minced garlic
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Place steaks in a large zip-top bag. Pour marinade over steaks and seal, removing air. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, turning bag occasionally to evenly marinate. Grill as desired.

 

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