Creating recipes in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do. And because I work full time and just recently started going back to school, it’s pretty much all I do on the weekend (other than watch loads of football, hopefully do laundry, and go grocery shopping), and its become this perfect balanced relationship where I don’t feel stressed to constantly cook, photograph and blog everyday – in a 2 hour daylight window. Instead, I actually get to leisurely enjoy grilling, baking and searing stuff in the kitchen. Yay! Happy face.
All that to say, I know posting has been sparse these past few weeks, and it may continue like that for another one or so, but sooner or later I’ll get all my ducks in order. I’d say I had everything working together when this salad came about, so we’re on the right path.
This dish is a perfect make-ahead lunch that only seems to get better with time. It’s one of those salads with substance, in the uber healthy quinoa form, and makes you think of the salad you had last week for 11$ at a place called Zoe’s Kitchen, but realize it’s way cheaper and you get tons of leftovers so it’s gonna be a while before you hit up that spot again.
Bursting with Greek flavors, like fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and feta, all dressed in a lemony vinaigrette, this salad is great as a vegetarian dish. But, but! I do believe it’s the grilled lamb, perfectly proportioned to get some in every bite, that takes this over the top. And for anyone with loved ones not interested in quinoa, a complete protein grain-like rice alternative, try serving it with ground meat, like beef or lamb, doubt you could pry them away from the serving dish!
Here’s to incorporating more goodness into the diets of the ones we love, and having them enjoy it too!
Greek Quinoa Salad with Lamb
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (6-8 servings)
- 1 1/2 c. quinoa, rinsed (use a strainer and rinse until water runs clear)
- 5 cloves garlic, left whole
- 3 c. chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2-3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 medium cucumber, diced or quartered
- 2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced or quartered
- 1/4 onion, sliced thin
- 1-2 Tbsp capers
- 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 lb ground lamb, grass fed preferably
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 small onion, diced small
- 1-2 Tbsp fresh herbs (oregano, basil, cilantro)
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- sprinkle black pepper
- sprinkle smoked paprika
- sprinkle garlic powder
- sprinkle red pepper flakes
1/3-1/2 c. Greek Dressing
Start by cooking the quinoa ( be sure to rinse it first), add everything to a medium pot, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low heat for 15-20 minutes. Then turn off heat, place pot on cool burner, and let sit for another 2-5 minutes. Use fork to fluff.
Meanwhile prepare the dressing, I’d make a double batch for sure. To the dressing, add the thinly sliced onion- this lets them chill, taking the edge off.
Pour cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Let cool a few mins, then add the dressing, chopped tomato, cucumber, and capers. Toss to incorporate all the flavors. Add about half the cheese, toss and add the rest.
Serve salad with grilled lamb ‘burgers’.
To make the burgers, mix all the ingredients together and make 6 small patties. Be careful to thoroughly mix everything together (hands work best), but not to overwork the meat.
Make sure the meat is at room temperature before you grill it or pan fry in grapeseed or canola oil.
Cook a few minutes on each side, and let rest a minute or 2 before topping the quinoa salad.