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quinoa salad with zucchini, pistachios, mint and feta


Quinoa tossed with any kind of vegetable, nut, herbs or cheese makes a simple satisfying lunch. The very first time I tasted steamed quinoa was in a green salad with shredded carrots, sliced toasted almonds and an Asian style dressing, I was hooked on it's nutty flavor and from that day I have always included a bag of quinoa in my pantry. Quinoa, which is a grain, cooks much like rice, except it takes less time. It needs to be fluffed with a fork after it's steamed and then can easily be added to a salad.

Ingredients for Quinoa Salad with Zucchini, pistachios, Mint and Feta
serves 3-4

1&1/2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced and chopped
3 scallions, white parts minced 
1/3 cup raw pistachios 
1 small lime,  juiced
extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced parsley and mint, plus extra for sprinkling on top of salad
1/2 cup Bulgarian feta, plus extra for sprinkling on top of salad
3-4 cups arugula
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the quinoa; bring the water and quinoa in a heavy sauce pan with a lid and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, set aside.
Heat enough oil in a medium skillet to cover the bottom and add the sliced zucchini.  Cook and stir until tender and lightly browned.  Season with salt and pepper, place in a large bowl.
Stir in the yellow pepper, scallions, pistachios, lime juice, tablespoon of olive oil and fresh herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Fluff up the quinoa with a fork and spoon into the zucchini mixture,  gently stir in the feta, check the seasoning.
Place the arugula in serving bowls and spoon the quinoa zucchini mixture over the top, adding additional feta, drizzle of olive oil and fresh chopped herbs.




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