Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
In the new year, I set a goal for myself to meal prep on Sundays for the week ahead. As a student athlete, my nutrition and sleep are very important to me. I found myself always rushing to find enough food in the morning to last me from 8AM to 7PM.
Little did I know, meal prepping would become my best friend. I’ve found myself saving money, because I no longer buy Mandy’s salads every other day, as well as sharing recipes with friends who are in the same boat as me. Whether you’re a working mom or dad, a student like myself, or just wanting to feel good with less stress, I highly recommend you give it a try!
The following recipe is packed with protein, carbs and healthy fats. It can be used as a side dish for a family dinner or for your weekly meal prep! Enjoy.
Mediterranea Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
2 medium sized eggplants
2 bell peppers
1 can of chickpeas
1 ½ cups of uncooked quinoa
10-20 Greek olives
20 garden tomatoes
4 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of oregano
5 fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
½ of crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to your liking
Juice from whole lemon
2 cloves of garlic
½ tsp of oregano
2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice eggplants and peppers evenly and place them in a medium sized bowl.
Add the olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and mix until the eggplant has absorbed most of the olive oil. Place everything on the baking sheets.
Bake eggplant and peppers for 25-30 minutes, depending on how crispy you’d like them to be.
While those are in the oven, boil 3 cups of water. When the water is boiling, reduce heat to simmer and add the quinoa. Put a timer on for 12-15 minutes.
While the vegetables are baking and the quinoa is cooking, cut the garden tomatoes in halves and throw into a large mixing bowl. Add the chickpeas and olives.
When the quinoa is done, place in a separate large bowl to let cool. Keep mixing every few minutes to let it steam off.
Remove the eggplant and peppers from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Once they’ve cooled off, throw them into the large bowl.
Once the quinoa has settled, place in the large bowl and mix everything together. Add the basil and thyme to the salad, as well as salt and pepper.
To make the salad dressing, mix all the ingredients in a measuring cup. Add half the dressing to the salad, mix, and add more dressing to your liking.
Lastly, crumble feta cheese on top of the salad. At this point, the salad has cooled off and is ready to serve.
Reasons why I encourage meal prepping:
One to two hours of your Sunday is better than 30 minutes bright and early every morning
Achieving goals, either financially or with your health, becomes a lot easier
Feeling accomplished is one heck of a great feeling!!