This Simple Greek Orzo and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is the perfect, healthy side dish for dinners, parties or potlucks! Filled with the delicious Mediterranean flavors of jumbo California Black Olives, salty feta cheese and juicy cherry tomatoes, this salad is great every day of the week.
Well HELLO Monday, and hello to you too. I am excited that it is Monday. I know what you’re thinking….Is that even possible? Monday means structure. Back to the gym and back to my diet. Baby Stella’s naps will be taken on time today and there will be no donuts, sour candy, or giant pieces of cake consumed. To me that is a huge source of comfort.
This weekend was pure chaos (and also a lot of fun). Baby Stella had her first birthday partyyesterday and it was a beautiful mess. Let me define mess for you. We live in sunny Southern California where it hardly ever rains and because of this we are currently in a drought. So it would seem VERY practical to throw your daughter a pool party in July.
Well wouldn’t you know that it rained. Not just sprinkled, it poured! All the seating was set up outdoors and inside really couldn’t accommodate all those people. Luckily our giant umbrellas covered a few of the tables so everyone didn’t get completely soaked….although there were a few soggy bowls of chips.
Speaking of chips, lets talk about disaster #2. Our taco guy didn’t show up. The party started at 11:30am and by noon I was scrambling trying to find food for the myriad of hungry guests filling up the rainy backyard. My guests were stuck with a big dessert bar and a veggie tray for lunch.
After a few choice words and a near panic attack, we split up and ran to 3 different places to try and get enough food for everyone. It was so chaotic. But in the end, Stella still had fun. I loaded up on cake, chips, and too many tacos. I also found my way to the candy bar more than once. Lets call it stress eating.
So that is why I have to say that I am so thrilled for Monday. Structure and healthy food. Which is the perfect day to share this Simple Greek Orzo & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. It makes for the perfect lunch or even a meatless Monday Entree. I love Mediterranean flavors. Healthy, bright, fresh and they scream summer. This pasta salad is delicious hot or cold. My favorite part is the California Black Olives. I am partial to California ingredients. I love knowing that I am not only supporting my state’s farmers, but it is also comforting to know that the produce hasn’t traveled millions of miles. Black olives are one of my favorite ingredients to use in salads or even right out of the can for snacking!
This salad has so many great flavors. Orzo gives a perfect nutty texture while quinoa is a protein packed powerhouse of nutrition. I paired the black olives with traditional Mediterranean flavors; salty feta, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs and crunchy cucumbers. The Lemon Vinaigrette is the perfect finishing touch that adds a little bit of zing.
- Mediterranean Olive Orzo & Quinoa Pasta:
- 1 Can (6 oz) Large California Black Olives
- 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
- ½ Feta Cheese, cubed
- ½ Lb. Orzo Pasta, cooked
- 1 Cup Quinoa, cooked
- 1 Cup Cucumber, chopped
- ½ Cup Red Onion, diced
- 2 Tablespoons Italian Parsley, finely chopped (Reserve for garnish)
- Lemon Vinaigrette:
- Juice of 1 Lemon (about ¼ cup)
- ⅓ Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Garlic Cloved, minced
- 1 Teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
- ½ Teaspoon Oregano
- Pinch of Sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the pasta salad and toss. Coat evenly with the lemon vinaigrette. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Garnish with finely chopped parsley before serving.
- Lemon Vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients, adjusting the seasonings to your taste.
California Ripe Olives are one of the most versatile items in the pantry. They are loved for their unique flavor, texture and color, but also can be part of a healthy diet. Click here to learn more. Olives are such a great way to incorporate healthy fats and vitamin A into your diet. For more great inspiration for cooking with olives head over to California Olive! California Ripe Olives are also hosting a fabulous Midsummer Mediterranean Giveaway. Click on over for more details!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.