about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.

Each week I get at least a handful of comments or emails from people wanting vegetarian meal ideas.  So many people seem to be interested in going meatless or at least reducing their meat intake, but don’t quite know where to start.  Once the veggie burgers, canned beans, and faux meats get old – where do you go from there?

I’m always amazed that people think vegetarian diets are so limiting.  It is easy to focus on what you can’t eat, but it’s so much more productive to think about all the wonderful things that you most definitely can eat!

The biggest concern that is repeated in email after email seems to be protein intake.  My first response is usually this – I think as Americans we generally vastly over-estimate the amount of protein the body actually needs in one day.  In fact, the body can only physically process so much protein at one time, and beyond that the excess is just converted to waste. 

But of course protein IS necessary, and if you are willing to think beyond the usual suspects, you can find that vegetarian sources are actually pretty easy to find.  A personal favorite in our house – quinoa.  And when summer rolls around and we are looking for light ways to incorporate protein into dinnertime, simple and refreshing grain salads are my absolute favorite.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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(Print this recipe!)

Ingredients: (makes 4 entrée servings)

  • 1.5 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (other other cooking oil)
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup olives, minced
  • 1/2 cup basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • goat or feta cheese crumbles (optional)

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Instructions:  This was one of those fun summer dishes that came together as I was making it, based on what was fresh in my kitchen.  It is incredibly simple, but packed with delicious Mediterranean flavor and tangy lemon juice. 

  1. Rinse quinoa and add 3 cups of water to either a rice cooker or sauce pan on a stovetop.  Cook for 25 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
  2. Dice the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and basil, and add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff and add to the bowl of vegetables.
  4. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, and sea salt and pour dressing over quinoa mixture. 
  5. Let flavors marinate for 5-10 minutes before serving.  Top with goat cheese or feta crumbles for garnish!

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Grain salad are my absolute favorite thing to make in the summer.  Served warm or cold, they are perfect for serving at dinner or storing in the fridge when you need a meal in a hurry.

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This Mediterranean salad has the saltiness of olives and acidity of lemon juice that my pregnant palate absolutely loves right now. 

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As always, enjoy!

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70 Comments so far
Leave a comment

LauraJayne     at 1:53 pm

This recipe looks delicious – I’m trying to branch out of my brown rice addiction!

I totally agree about people always being concerned about a vegetarian diet and protein! If anything, we get too much protein – and every time I’ve had my diet analyzed, I always need more fat or good carbs – never protein!


Katherine     at 2:22 pm

I have got to try this!


Faith     at 6:45 pm

I don’t know if someone has already mentioned this to you, but there is this crazy, hilarious nude bike ride at the end of each June in Fremont. My friend and I were visiting in Seattle a few years ago and just happen to see this wild event.


Lisa @ Fit in the Midwest     at 9:56 pm

This recipe reminds me a lot of my favorite way to enjoy quinoa. I just ended up throwing in similar ingredients one day and it all went together so well! I’ll try your recipe next time and see if I like it better.


Karen     at 10:09 pm

I made this today but I didn’t know what to do with the coconut oil so I left it out. Does anyone know when and where to add it? I also added some chopped yellow bell pepper since I had it, it added a great crunch to the salsd and looked good too!


Emily Malone Reply:

Sorry for the late reply! The coconut oil is added to the quinoa when cooking – sorry!!


Michelle     at 10:10 pm

My fiancé and I made this recipe tonight and it was amazing! It’s definitely something I’ll make again. Keep the delicious recipes coming, Emily! :)


Karolina     at 12:44 am

Oh my gosh this looks absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely try to make this in the next week or two:)


Marianne Lockwood     at 5:45 pm

Hi Emily – Another hit! My husband and I loved this salad. He had bought a cranberry orange goat cheese log the other day, and that was the perfect addition. We had some beautiful Sungold cherry tomatoes from the farm down the street as well – out of this world! Thanks for a great recipe!



Emily Malone Reply:

Glad to hear it!


Joe @ The Frolicking Fells     at 1:07 am

My wife has made this dish several times and I have loved it each and every time. She once made it with fresh basil from the farmer’s market up the street and it was phenomenal. Tonight, she made it for her parents and siblings and their significant others, and everyone loved it! I had to restrain myself from taking too much because I wanted other people to try it…come to think of it, I’m getting hungry for a late-night snack now…wonder if there are any leftovers?


Cathy     at 12:48 pm

We are having a “parade of salads” at work tomorrow. THIS is what I’m going to bring. I always like to bring something a little bit different to expand peoples’ horizons. I’m sure I’ll get LOTS of compliments!


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