Tag Archives: quinoa

Simple Cucumber & Tomato Quinoa Salad

I know what you’re thinking….yay, yet another recipe for quinoa. And I admit, I do agree that there are a TON of quinoa salad recipes out there right now. Mine isn’t extra different, but it is supa easy and supa quick. So if you’re in need of something to take to a party/get-together, hopefully this can help you out!

photo(81)I made this for my Kappa Delta Alum meeting that I went to last night, and it was a big hit! The amount I made was A LOT, so feel free to cut the recipe in half, etc. The quinoa grows a lot after it gets done boiling, so expect to have leftovers!

Simple Cucumber & Tomato Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1,  4 oz. package crumbled feta cheese
  • 3/4 cup  zesty light Italian dressing
  • 1 tsp Dill weed
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the 3 cups of quinoa, bring back to a boil, cover, and reduce heat until the mixture is at a nice low boil. Let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes. Then take it off the heat, stir, and quickly recover to let it sit for around 5-10 minutes. This is where the quinoa will finish soaking up the water and will continue to grow!

While you let the quinoa cool, chop up your tomatoes, cucumber, and onion into small chunks. Once the quinoa is mostly cool, stir in your chopped veggies. Next stir in the Italian dressing, dill weed, and salt & pepper. Your salad may need more or less dressing, so add the liquid slowly until you know how much dressing is right for your mixture. You want it to be fairly ‘dry’; your quinoa should not be dripping with dressing!

Last, mix in the feta cheese by gently folding it in. You want to be able to still see the chunks, so don’t over-mix! I found this awesome stuff at my grocery store that definitely added an extra kick of flavor.

13308535Tomato basil feta = yum! Plain feta will do the job as well, no worries.

You can serve the salad immediately, but I found it’s the best to cover it and refrigerate an hour or so (or even overnight!) to really let the quinoa start to soak up the yummy flavors. I personally let mine sit overnight and had to add a little more dressing before serving it yesterday. I think the quinoa starts to soak up the dressing, so if you need extra dressing, just keep it handy!

photo(84)Super fresh, easy, and healthy! It was a hit with our BBQ meal last night. And I’ll be enjoying it for a few more days. 🙂

photo(83)Happy cooking!

SWMO Kappa Delta Alumnae Meeting

Phewwww! It’s been a busy day/week! Who’s ready for Friday?!

Today started out with teaching a 5 AM Jazzercise class. I switched schedules with another instructor so I could have this evening free. Tonight was my first meeting with the Southwest Missouri Kappa Delta Alumnae Chapter!

I graduated from Drury University in May 2011, and though I really loved my sorority, I was ready for a break from the meetings/time requirements that it required after being active for 3 years. Sidenote: I only attended Drury for 3 years. I took the fast track and got my degree early. So no, I didn’t attend college anywhere else or drop out early. 🙂 I’m just that good.

I received an email from my sorority’s alumnae chapter about a month ago inviting us to attend the first meeting of the Fall. I finally felt excited about being active within my sorority again! So I took this as a sign that it was time for me to join up officially with the alumnae chapter.

Up to this point, I didn’t feel like it was the best idea for me to be super active with the alums because the chapter was still full of active members that were there when I was active. I always looked up to the alumnae when I was a student and didn’t know how this relationship would work out since I was almost the same age as the senior class members. After almost 3 years, most of those girls have graduated, and I finally can feel like an alumni!

The meeting invite said we would be planning this year’s calendar events, which is exactly what we DIDN’T do. HA! The eclectic group of women that welcomed me into their meeting tonight were far to friendly and chatty to get any ‘real’ work done. We spent 2 1/2 hours just eating and chatting about our lives and our time spent in the sorority. They were all so warm and inviting. I could tell that they were definitely sisters, even though there was a 50 year age different between some of us.

We eventually rounded out the evening by deciding that we would meet once every-other month since our schedules can be so crazy. We may get together soon (in October) for a wine tasting. But the next official event will be a cookie exchange in December. I may be old fashioned, but I can’t think of anything I’d rather do on a Thursday night than eat holiday cookies with some awesome ladies & sisters.

Dinner

BBQ was provided by our host, and we were all asked to bring our favorite side dishes to complete the meal. I opted to make a cold Quinoa & Cucumber salad to go along with the BBQ.

photo(84)But I also had to make some sweets for dessert! I found an amazing recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies on Pinterest and jumped at this chance to be able to bake.

photo(79)They were too delicious for words! And healthy-ish with no added oil or butter. I think I’ve found my new Fall go-to cookie recipe. I also saw a recipe on Pinterest that only required a Spice Cake mix and a can of pure pumpkin. They looked like little pumpkiny dough balls in the pics, so I will be trying those soon as well! (Thinking the addition of chocolate chips might be necessary here!)

Needless to say, getting this food ready last night completely destroyed my tiny kitchen, but it was well worth it. And everyone enjoyed the food (or seemed to!), so that’s what matters most! They oohed and aahed over the pumpkin cookies. I think the Fall-like weather made them even more enticing this evening.

Breakfast

photo(86)Breakfast today was the usual when I’m running late. And this banana was a little past its prime. ughhhhhh. But the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Luna bar made it all okay. 🙂

Lunch

Lunch was quick and full of quinoa! I had some leftover quinoa from making the quinoa salad for tonight’s meeting. I threw that together with some leftover steamed veggies and wrapped it all up in one of my low-carb wraps.

photo(80)Supa healthy, right? Yeah it was until I added a little Lite Ranch dressing to give it some taste! The veggies were overcooked (my fault!) so they weren’t too tasty by themselves.

photo(86)I also had a little more quinoa by helping myself to the salad that I took to my meeting tonight. I made way too much of the salad so it didn’t hurt much for me to sample a few bites ahead of time. I felt like I was cheating on my typical lunch salad of romaine and veggies, but I suppose enough veggies were consumed regardless!

All-in-all, today was fun! I am now trying to deal with my completely full food baby. Did I overeat? Oh yea. No question about that one. But with my pumpkin cookies and some raspberry cookie bars someone else brought (and then sent home with me!), I couldn’t not be stuffed right now. So I think it’s time to hit the sack and start fresh tomorrow with healthy eating.