Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a must make for a healthy, light dinner or an easy side dish! With protein-packed quinoa, tomatoes, feta, arugula and mint this easy-to-make salad will be on repeat this summer!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe in a bowlMediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe

This is the first official quinoa recipe here on Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and it’s a good one! Many of you have requested healthy and nutrient-dense grain recipes and a promise is a promise! In the past we’ve had lots of oat recipes which you all have been loving and thought it time to incorporate some recipes with this healthy gluten-free grain! This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is so flavorful and loaded with veggies and herbs! It tastes as fresh as it looks and is the perfect dish to serve as a light dinner or as a side. It also can work as meal prep for a few days.

Is Quinoa Healthy?

Our in-house nutritionist Gabby says: Quinoa is tremendously healthy, especially for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Quinoa is one of the very few plant proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids that our body cannot make on their own, making it a complete protein. Not only is it a rich source of protein, it is also naturally gluten-free, safe for those with celiac disease.

Many believe quinoa is a seed, but it is actually a whole grain. This makes it a nutrient-dense, high fiber substitute for things like white pasta. Last but not least, it is high in many vitamins and nutrients that Americans are deficient in such as magnesium, thiamin, folate, iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

mediterranean quinoa recipeDo you need to rinse quinoa?

Yes! Don’t skip this step, even if your quinoa says “pre-rinsed”. Rinsing the quinoa get’s rid of the natural powdery coating called saponin that has a strong, somewhat unpleasant flavor. Put the quinoa in a strainer and rinse really well under cold water for 1-2 minutes. Then it’s ready to use.

How long will this salad keep?

This salad as made is best served immediately because of the arugula. But if you’d like to keep it longer, or use for meal prep you can make the salad up to 2 days ahead and either skip the arugula all together or add it to the prepared salad right before ready to serve.

quinoa and arugula saladIf you like this healthy salad recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video here:


Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:25 Total Time 00:25

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped mint leaves
  • 1 cup arugula

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa under cold running water really well. In a pot add quinoa, pinch of salt and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spread out on a baking sheet to slightly cool, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl make dressing: whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and shallots.
  3. Once the quinoa has slightly cooled, to the large bowl add quinoa, cherry tomatoes, feta, mint and arugula. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can prepare the quinoa, dressing and chop all the veggies 1 day ahead of time.
  2. We enjoyed eating this both warm straight after making the quinoa, or after the quinoa has been completely cooled. Either way works, and just depends on your preference.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Garden Veggie Pizza with Tart Cherry Balsamic Reduction (Gluten-Free)

This Garden Veggie Pizza with Tart Cherry Balsamic Reduction is everything you want about summer: filled with fresh veggies, simple to put together and the most flavorful drizzle thanks to tart cherries. It uses my classic gluten-free and paleo pizza crust, with a white ricotta and garlic base, and can be thrown together SO quickly! Seriously, it’s so easy to make! Topped with all your in-season veggies and you have the ultimate summer veggie pizza. Made in partnership with the Cherry Marketing Institute!

Healthy Veggie Pizza

Garden Veggie Pizza

I am so excited to partner with my friends at the Cherry Marketing Institute today to bring you this Garden Veggie Pizza with Tart Cherry Balsamic Reduction recipe straight from my CSA and garden to your kitchen! U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries can be enjoyed year-round, and you can find them dried, frozen and in canned forms, in addition to juice and concentrate. Today, we’re using dried tart cherries AND the tart cherry juice and they totally make this pizza!! I love the tart sweetness playing off the savory garden veggies and ricotta! It is the ultimate summer pizza combination.

White Veggie Pizza

SO, why do I choose Montmorency tart cherries? Well, let’s get a little science-y for a second! For one, they are abundant in anthocyanins – a natural compound that contributes to the ruby-red color and distinctive sweet-tart taste. This phytonutrient, a type of flavonoid, is also behind the potential health-promoting properties of Montmorency tart cherries. From exercise recovery to sleep and heart health to inflammation, like soothing arthritis symptoms these Montmorency tart cherries have been credited with an array of health advantages! I seriously love them so much!

Healthy Veggie Pizza Slice

Want other tart cherry recipes? Here are two of our favorites:

Garden Veggie Pizza

Just look at that cherry balsamic drizzle!!! And it’s so easy to make. This crust is no-fuss, paleo-friendly, and SO good. Seriously, I’ve tried A LOT of gluten-free pizza crusts and this one is my all-time favorite.

Gluten Free Veggie Pizza

Garden Veggie Pizza with Tart Cherry Balsamic Reduction (Gluten-Free)

Total Time 0:00 Serves 2

Ingredients

    Tart Cherry Balsamic Reduction

  • 1/4 cup Montmorency tart cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, good quality
  • Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 3 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup palm shortening
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • Everything Else

  • 1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese (see note for dairy-free)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 4 chives, sliced fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 large zucchini, grated and squeezed in a clean kitchen towel to drain liquid
  • 1/4 cup dried tart cherries, divided
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper, for serving

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350º.
  2. Make tart cherry balsamic reduction by place juice and vinegar in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened slightly. You do not want to overcook this as it will turn to candy as it cools! Remove from pan and set aside in a small bowl to cool.
  3. Meanwhile make pizza dough: In a bowl combine tapioca, coconut flour, flax seed, baking powder and salt. Add in the egg and shortening and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the warm water and mix until the dough is smooth.
  4. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Top with another piece of parchment and using a rolling pin gently roll out the dough into a circle that is about 1/2" thick. Remove the top piece of parchment and par-bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 minutes.
  5. Make the ricotta mixture by whisking together in a bowl the ricotta, parmesan cheese, garlic, chives, and ground pepper.
  6. Top the par-baked dough with the ricotta mixture and spread to the edges, leaving 1/2" of space for the crust. Top with grated and drained zucchini, tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the dried tart cherries.
  7. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the edges of the ricotta mixture is beginning to turn a light brown (the pizza crust doesn't change much color).
  8. Take the pizza out and let cool for a few minutes before continuing on.
  9. In a small bowl combine arugula, oil and a pinch of coarse salt and gentle massage the arugula to break it down slightly.
  10. Top the pizza with the arugula, remaining tart cherries and drizzle with the tart cherry reduction. Top with coarse sea salt and ground pepper and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. This is one of those ingredients that really pays off when you use a higher quality. If you have a very inexpensive balsamic vinegar you may need to reduce the cherry and balsamic glaze for longer to achieve the correct consistency.
  2. To make paleo, sub ricotta for dairy-free version and omit parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to dairy-free ricotta mixture.
  3. This serves 2, go ahead and double to make two pizzas to feed 4.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

This post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love tart cherries and think you’ll love them too! Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

 

Arugula Salad with Mint Chia Dressing

Arugula Salad with Mint Chia Dressing {Grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free} | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This Arugula Salad with Mint Chia Dressing inspired from a recent trip to Round Hill Jamaica will quickly become your new favorite salad dressing! It is flavorful, creamy, and bursting with fresh flavors!

Arugula Salad with Mint Chia Dressing

A few weeks ago you may have seen on Snapchat and Instagram that we were in Jamaica at our absolute favorite resort, Round Hill. This was our second stay there, and it was just as fabulous as our first stay!

The understated luxury, quaint beauty, and small size of the resort are some of my favorite features, aside from the sunsets (see below), and the amazing, local and fresh cuisine. They even have Billy’s garden where they pick tons of their own fresh produce each morning!

Round Hill Resort

Each morning we started our day with a Tropical Green Smoothie and a big ‘ol breakfast plate. One of the breakfast highlights was the Round Hill salad. Fresh arugula from their garden, slivered almonds, segmented oranges, and the best Mint Chia Dressing.

For lunch they start you off with fresh plantain chips and their homemade tapenade (ah-mazing, we took two jars home), and I ordered the chopped jerk chicken salad one MULTIPLE days. So fresh and delicious!

My fabulous friends at Round Hill said I could s hare with you the Mint Chia Dressing since I adored it SO MUCH.

Arugula Salad with Mint Chia Dressing

This dressing is…

Creamy

Tangy

Sweet

Flavorful

Fresh

Arugula Salad with Mint Chia Dressing

Arugula Salad with Mint Chia Dressing

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 00:00 Total Time 0:05 Yields 8

Ingredients

    Mint Chia Dressing

    Everything Else

    • 6 cups arugula
    • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
    • 2 oranges, segmented

    Directions

    1. Place all ingredients into your high-speed blender and pulse for 5 seconds.
    2. Slowly pour in olive oil while blending until smooth and creamy.
    3. Assemble salad and serve!

    Recipe Notes

    This recipe is adapted from Chef Martin MM. Maginley from Round Hill Resort and printed with permission.

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    There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

    This is not a sponsored post. We did receive some complimentary meals and a few complimentary nights throughout our stay. All opinions are 100% always my own!