Green Diva’s Guide to Delicious Living: Cookus Interruptus

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Author and food educator, Cynthia Lair and her family have fun sharing recipes and methods for cooking whole, sustainably produced and locally grown food through their informative and quirky Internet videos. Their website is

Poor Cynthia starts every video happily offering us some nutritional details of whatever food she is preparing or just informing us about and just when she is warming up (pun intended) her husband or daughter rambles into the kitchen on some unrelated business. It is cute and speaks to the tagline of the site, ‘How to cook fresh local organic whole foods despite life’s interruptions.’

Cynthia offers us a versatile Quinoa salad . . . and we get to meet her husband Steve too!

Mediterranean Quinoa


Recipe reprinted with permission from Feeding the Whole Family (third edition) by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)


Inspired by a recipe by a student named David St. Martin, this whole grain salad has it all. Amino acid rich quinoa combines with pine nuts and feta to provide protein. The raw herbs add the digestive element to the dish. This makes a stupendous meal coupled with grilled fish or a refreshing Thanksgiving side dish. Cooked millet, rice or other grain can be substituted for quinoa.


1 cup quinoa

1 ¾ cup water

½ teaspoon sea salt


¼ cup toasted pine nuts

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons chopped mint

3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

¼ cup currants

⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese


Wash, rinse and drain quinoa. Place in a 2-quart pot, add water and salt, bring to boil, lower heat and simmer with lid on until all water is absorbed (15-20 minutes). Don’t stir the grain while it is cooking. Test for doneness by tilting the pan to one side, making sure all of the water has been absorbed. Remove lid and let rest 5-10 minutes.


Dry toast pine nuts in skillet or 300 degree F. oven until they begin to change color and give off aroma.


Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint and parsley in a large bowl. Add currants and toasted pine nuts and toss. Using a fork, add cooked warm quinoa a little at a time quinoa. Toss well.

Serve at room temperature.


Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Watch the video! 

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