quinoa cucumber salad

Last night my family was invited over for Elk Sliders. Yep, Elk Sliders. I did not even know that one could eat Elk. I was asked to bring a salad. Hmm, what does one bring to a pot luck that goes with Elk? A challenge I was excited to take. I first found out some pretty interesting facts about Elk meat. Elk can also be termed Venison meat, or deer meat. It is a superior meat producing animal; leaner, has less calories, and less cholesterol than Chicken, Lamb, Beef, and Pork {in that order}. I have had venison stew back in college and recalled it as tender, sweet, and tasty, so needless to say, I was excited about trying out this new burger!

I concluded that I couldn’t bring just any salad to this dinner. I wanted to bring a special salad to accompany this special meat. Aha! It is time to try out that quinoa recipe I have been formulating in my head and waiting for just the right time to create it!

My Quinoa Cucumber Salad!

Master Chef Jack and his beautiful Souis Chef Peg out did themselves in their culinary expertise! My six year old son ate three and hubby had two sliders. Unfortunately, we forgot to ask to pull aside two for Greanbean and I with nothing in them {his fixens had gluten in them}, but boy did I enjoy watching my son devour the sliders and say over andover again, “Mom, you have to make these for us at home.”

The salad got rave reviews more than once with requests for the recipe which is always a good sign of success! I assure you it is and will be a crowd pleaser and will find itself in the menu rotation in your home!

i love how vibrant the tomatoes are! can you just smell the basil and sweet green onions?

look at the translucency and the thin fiber line in the quinoa. cooked just perfectly.

quinoa cucumber salad

Serves 8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party
Region American
By author Claudine Phillips
This salad is a gluten-free refreshing option perfect for summer parties and potlucks!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 Large cucumber (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup green onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 cup basil (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon local honey
  • 1 Small avocado (sliced)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)

Note

You can always add pine nuts or chopped chicken to pack in the protein.

Directions

Step 1
Place the quinoa in a bowl. Cover with cold water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Drain this soaked quinoa through a fine strainer until the water runs clear.
Step 2
Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt and the quinoa. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and translucent. The grains will have a small thread running through each grain. Drain off water in the pan through a fine strainer, return quinoa back to pan, place a clean dishtowel over the pan and cover with pan lid for 10 minutes.
Step 3
While the quinoa is setting, chop the cucumber, place is colander, sprinkle and toss with salt. Cover with a dishtowel and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Chop the tomatoes, onions, and basil. Rinse the cucumber. Combine cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and basil in one large bowl.
Step 4
To make the vinaigrette, combine the red wine vinegar, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slightly whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5
Last, mix in the quinoa. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Finally, gently fold in the crumbled feta. Slice the avocado and serve on the side or on top! Enjoy!

 this recipe can have many variations. share yours with us! we’d love to see what you do with it!

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