Week 17: Meatless Meal Recipe Contest Winner | The Daily Dish

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Week 17: Meatless Meal Recipe Contest Winner

8 Comments | Written on May 24, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Have you ever heard of quinoa?  (pronounced keen-waw)  This ancient grain is a nutritional powerhouse and is the cornerstone of the award-winning recipe this week.  Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain.  In fact, the protein is of an unusually high quality – it is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid balance close to ideal. Quinoa can be substituted for almost any grain in a recipe and can be found in both red or white varieties.

Huge round of applause for our latest winner, Susan Shipe!  She not only came up with this outstanding winning dish, but she also shares her thoughts on food and life in her blog http://hopehearthome.com

quinoa salad

Quinoa Salad with Mediterranean Flavors



3 cups Quinoa, cooked and cooled (cooking instructions on package)
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped and stems removed
1/4 cup feta cheese, small chunks
1/2 cup black olives, sliced or cut in half
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted & chopped


1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


SALAD: Place all salad ingredients in large bowl and mix lightly. DRESSING: In small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients except the vinegar. Once blended, add the vinegar and whisk briskly. Slowly drizzle over the Quinoa mixture and serve.

Number of Servings: 4-6

Congratulations!  How did you come up with your winning recipe?  Do you prepare Meatless Meals often?

“I had made a double batch of Quinoa and had about 2-3 cups in the refrigerator and wanted to use it so I started looking around for what else I had and it seemed I had items in the “Greek taste” department. Feta, black olives, red onion, golden raisins, spinach and I just started throwing things into a big bowl and then made up a good Greek dressing that I’ve used before. Next thing I knew we were eating it and my husband told me how delicious it was. The next morning your email was in my inbox and I thought – “why not?”  I prepare meatless meals very often – we only eat meat about  2-3 times per month!”

What inspired you to enter the Better Recipes weekly contest?

“I never enter recipe contests – well, I take that back. I did once a very long time ago but did not win. THAT morning I just decided “why not.””

Love it!  Do you have any advice for others interested in entering our recipe contests?

“Enter – what do you have to lose!!!”

I hear you have a few variations on the winning dish.  What substitutions do you suggest?

“I like to add  1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped red onion to the quinoa mixture.  Also, sometimes to the dressing I exchange 3/4 tsp garlic powder to 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated or minced.”

Such an artist, forever perfecting her craft!  Thanks so much for your recipe and insights!

8 Responses to “Week 17: Meatless Meal Recipe Contest Winner”

  • 1
    Susan Shipe says:

    Kristina – great blog – I still can’t believe I am the weekly winner!!!!
    To all those who are going to make this, I’d like to add one more change to the dressing itself. Eliminate the onion powder and add grated onion about two tablespoons AND be sure to change the garlic powder to fresh grated or minced garlic.
    This is making me hungry!!!!

  • 2
    Marni says:

    This sounds too good!! Can’t wait to make it.

  • 3
    sharon says:

    Is quinoa hard to find and where would it be in the store?

  • 4
    Kristina Vanni says:

    Sharon – It isn’t too hard to find nowadays. It can usually be found with the other grains. By the rice, couscous, etc… If not, you can check the “health food” aisle.

  • 5
    M. Glasser says:

    I found quinoa at COSTCO. First time I had tried it after reading a very complimentary article about how good it is for you. Recipes are beginning to pop up now, whereas they used to be hard to find. Check ALLRECIPES.COM for several good recipes. I have not been able to find the red quinoa yet.. hope it is as good as the other.
    Perhaps in a natural food store?

    • Selena says:

      Our Kroger grocery has red quinoa in the natural foods section, and our natural foods store has it in bulk. Keep looking, it’s worth it.

  • 6
    Lori says:

    I love quinoa but have found that toasting it before you cook it adds a wonderful nuttiness to the flavor. To toast, place the desired amount of quinoa in a non-stick pan over low heat stirring often until the quinoa is lightly brown (this can take several minutes.)

  • 7
    Steve says:

    What is the serving size and nutritional values of this dish?

    Sounds very tasty. We are going to try this tonight. Thanks!

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