Greek Quinoa Salad with Tofu Feta
It’s the MAY LONG WEEKEND!! This is the weekend that unofficially kicks off summer. In Canada it’s Victoria Day on Monday. Historically, this is a celebration observing Queen Victoria’s birthday (as well as that of the reigning monarch). However, in actual practice it’s a long weekend filled with camping, BBQs, beers, gardening, and general summer merriment. In honour of the seasonal festivities I was drawn to making a summery dish.
Summer foods are typically BBQ burgers, hot dogs, sausages, and ribs (all easily Kindified – aka: Veg-ified… see my RIBZ recipe). Other summer foods are the salads and side dishes that grace our picnic and patio tables. One of my favourite summer salads is Greek Salad. However, sometimes I want something a bit more substantial than just veggies and dressing. Quinoa is amazing, if you haven’t had it – you need to give it a go. You make it exactly like rice and it’s a nutritional powerhouse that tastes great. Anyway, I decided to make a Greek Quinoa Salad with Tofu Feta. Let me tell you, this is a meal in itself and the tofu feta is incredible! The tofu feta is so good, in fact, that I’m going to do a whole post just on it at some point. This salad is crunchy, fresh, zesty and herb-y. The tofu feta lends a tangy sharpness that is so familiar in Greek salad. The quinoa ramps up the nutrition and makes this salad perfect as a side dish or as a meal in itself!
The actual hands-on portion of making this salad is minimal, but there is some waiting for tofu to marinate and quinoa to cook and cool. This is a recipe that requires you to plan ahead, you can’t really do it last minute. The tofu feta needs to marinate for at least an hour or even overnight, and the quinoa must be completely cool so as not to wilt the veggies. However, making the dressing and chopping the veggies only takes about 5 minutes so this salad really doesn’t take a lot of effort.
In this salad, you’ll find the tofu feta to be firm, brine-y (like feta cheese), and perfectly suited for this application. It just must be noted that you absolutely have to use extra firm (or even super extra firm) tofu for this application, as it must mimic the firmness of dairy feta.
In my house there is some disagreement about the vegetables that go in the Greek Salad. My husband doesn’t like tomatoes OR olives, so I usually use a non-red pepper so he can easily identify the tomatoes to pick them out. I also typically only put the olives in my own bowl, rather than the whole batch. Neither of us likes raw red onions, so I prefer to use green onions. Feel free to go traditional and use the red onion. Anyway, as you know the recipes and photos on the blog are of the real food that we eat, so that explains the less-than-traditional use of a yellow pepper and green onions in our Quinoa Greek Salad
- For the TOFU FETA:
- 1 block (about 250g) EXTRA FIRM tofu (use the firmest you can find).
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup water (or more)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- For the SALAD:
- 2 cups COOKED and COOLED quinoa
- ½ cucumber, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- ½ red onion, sliced -OR- 2 green onions, chopped
- Kalamata olives
- For the DRESSING:
- ⅓ cup good quality olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp oregano
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp sugar.
- For the TOFU FETA:
- Cut the tofu into small cubes and place in a small bowl.
- Combine the marinade ingredients: lemon juice, water, oregano, and salt. Pour it over the tofu and stir to combine. Add a bit more water, if necessary to help cover the tofu.
- Place tofu in fridge to marinate for at least an hour, or even overnight.
- For the DRESSING:
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the dressing ingredients.
- Whisk well to combine.
- To assemble the SALAD:
- In a large bowl combine the veggies and quinoa.
- Add about 1 cup of the marinated tofu feta (or more to taste).
- Add in your desired amount of olives.
- Pour the salad dressing over top and toss well to coat the ingredients.
- Serve and enjoy! 🙂
Greek Salad has long been my go-to to bring to potlucks and BBQs. What is your favourite dish to bring to family dinners and other gatherings?
If you decide to make this recipe, please rate and comment below! Thanks 🙂