You know that icebreaker question, “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Yeah, well, my answer has been the same for as long as I can remember—Greece.
A Greek vacation would have pretty much everything that makes me happy. Beautiful beaches and water, amazing historical sights, breathtaking scenery and incredible, healthy stupendous food.
You knew that last one was going to be in the list, didn’t you?
I don’t see a Greek vacation happening anytime in the foreseeable future but I will someday make it onto my well-researched two-week Greek Isles cruise (swoon). For now, I have to just try bring a little bit of the Greek lifestyle into my deeply American world. And the best way I know how to do that? Good wine and good food.
The stars of a traditional Greek salad are sweet tomatoes, creamy feta and salty kalamata olives. My non-traditional version turns this super fresh and simple salad into a hearty grain salad with a humble quinoa base. Quinoa is such a magical little grain. It’s one of a handful of sources of complete vegan protein—which means that it provides all the amino acids that aren’t made in the human body (called the essential amino acids). Quinoa is available at most grocery stores now-a-days, but if you can’t track it down—here is my favorite brand that is available online.
Many vegan sources offer incomplete protein (meaning they have a few of the essential amino acids, but not all of them) but for your body to truly benefit from protein, you need the whole amino acid package. Normally you have to hit up an animal product to get all of the essential amino acids, but quinoa comes to the rescue and delivers them all in a delicious, nutty, chewy, vegan package. Yay, quinoa!
We made this recipe for dinner and then snacked on it for days for lunches. It was a great main dish for my bento boxes. This would also make an amazing contribution to a potluck or cookout. People will be asking for the recipe, I promise. We served ours with a nice pile of crunchy pita chips for dipping.