Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: – 1 cup quinoa, rinsed – 2 cups water or vegetable broth – 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved – 1 cucumber, diced

– 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced – 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped – 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped – 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped – 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

– Juice of 1 lemon – 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – 2 cloves garlic, minced – Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

In a large salad bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, sliced Kalamata olives, finely chopped red onion, chopped parsley, and chopped mint leaves.

If using, add the crumbled feta cheese to the salad ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine, ensuring all ingredients are evenly coated.

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if desired.

Serve the Mediterranean quinoa salad immediately as a refreshing side dish or light meal, or refrigerate for later enjoyment.