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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


On one balmy summer day, as the women at Camp Mogen Av were sitting outside with the kids, Nancy K. and I shared a shady spot in the yard. We had a lot of talking to do…we both worked as personal chefs and both lived in Israel and used to love to go shopping in the shuk. As we exchanged ideas, the concept for this recipe arose. I remember the ideas we discussed, and as soon as camp ended and I was back in my kitchen, I whipped this up. It takes me back to the shuk, with the vibrant colored vegetables and Mediterranean spices.


1. In a medium bowl, combine quinoa, cucumber, carrot, tomatoes, avocado, chickpeas, feta cheese, and scallions.
2. Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, cumin, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss with salad, garnish with sunflower seeds, and serve.


For all those that find quinoa to have a bitter flavor, try rinsing well before using. Quinoa has a powdery resin called saponin that produces a bitter taste if it is not rinsed well. Add grains to a fine mesh strainer and rinse under running water. Mix around to release the resin layer and drain. Some brands of quinoa are pre-rinsed.