Having bariatric surgery limited my amount of food choices. While I could eat many things, I found that I could not eat many of the culinary options I’d grown accustomed to, which lead me on a journey. I had to find new selections that would allow me to enjoy my foods, but were diverse enough to keep me interested. The bariatric diet is very high in protein, much like a forced Atkins diet, which lead me to my present love for quinoa. Quinoa is a grain high in protein, and it is often used in place of many grains like rice that are high in carbohydrates. One of the many quinoa recipes I found was the basic quinoa salad. It is a play on the traditional Middle Eastern salad, tabbouleh, but I distinguish it by adding feta cheese into my recipe, which adds to the protein content lends a nice added flavor to the overall recipe. Here is my variation.
I begin by making the vinaigrette and mixing these together. It is then put aside:
1 cup Olive Oil
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ minced shallot
1 clove garlic minced
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sweetener (I use blue agave but you can use honey, simple syrup, whatever)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
I then make the quinoa. Quinoa is made using a two to one ratio of liquid to quinoa. I boil two cups of chicken stock and add one cup of quinoa. I then let the quinoa cool to room temperature before putting it in my refrigerator.
Now for the salad ingredients:
Missing from the picture is the chopped parsley:
2 cups cooked quinoa
½ English cucumber – hollowed and quartered
½ pound cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
½ bunch chopped parsley
½ pound feta cheese diced to ¼ to 1/8 in.
Mix everything together, adding 3/4 to all of the vinaigrette, and you have the quinoa salad. I often make this a one course meal by adding chopped chicken, but as you can see, we enjoyed this with slices of rib roast. I hope you enjoy!