The Perfect Barbecue Side Dish

by karen on June 13, 2019

I hope you’re all enjoying the weather as much as we are here in Reno. June is a beautiful month here, and you can feel everyone getting into the summer swing of things.

For me, nothing says summer quite like cookouts and barbecues with friends and family. Not only are they fun, but they can be a healthy and engaging way to cook, too.

Tonight, we have the perfect addition to your summer barbecue; ditch all the mayonnaise-y side salads and opt for our delicious, protein-packed quinoa salad instead. Quinoa is a gluten-free superfood full of all nine essential amino acids (making it a complete vegetarian protein), as well as vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Compared to typical sides such as potato or pasta salads, this quinoa version will come out on top, every time. So load up your grill with roasted veggies, cauliflower steaks or veggie burgers, or your favorite lean meat or fish, and join us in enjoying the delicious flavors of summertime.

Greek Quinoa Salad

(adapted from this spendwithpennies recipe)

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 16 oz (1 package) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • ½ cup green onions, diced
  • 3 oz feta cheese
  • ⅔ cup Greek dressing
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, olives, onions, and feta. Toss with dressing until coated evenly.
  3. Add cooled quinoa and mix thoroughly.
  4. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!

Homemade Greek Dressing

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 ½ tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together and pour over our delicious salad! Store any extra dressing in a bottle.

by Jordan Fisher

Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website

To find a nutrition expert in your area, go to the academy website – Find an Expert 

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