Cucumber Olive Quinoa Salad a.k.a. Kinda Sorta Tabbouli (gluten free, vegan)

I had cucumber and parsley from my garden, beautiful giant pea pods from the farmer's market, a bunch of leftover quinoa, and a container of oil-cured Moroccan olives in my fridge.   Using what I had on hand, I threw together a tasty salad  that is kind of like tabbouli, but isn't really tabbouli.  It was super simple to make, and tastes light and refreshing.  Eaten with some leftover homemade felafel, it made for a delicious Middle Eastern-inspired lunch.   I must post that felafel recipe, it is killer!  Until then, enjoy this quick and tasty summer salad.  The measurements are all pretty flexible, this is how I cook, sorry, just use your best judgement!  If you can eat tomatoes, a few cut up cherry or pear tomatoes added to this would be delicious.  Sadly, I'm allergic, so no more tomatoes for me!

yield: about 3 cups
1 c cooked quinoa
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 big handfuls pea pods, washed and chopped
1/2-1 c packed fresh parsley, finely chopped
about 1/2 Tblsp dried mint (fresh mint would be better, but I didn't have any on hand...)
1/4 c oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
about 1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
optional: 1-2 finely chopped garlic cloves
olive oil
1-2 T chickpea miso (or other miso)
2-4 T water
something acidic: 1/4 tsp vitamin C crystals, a splash of apple cider vinegar, or juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash and prepare your vegetables.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together quinoa and all the vegetables, stirring until evenly combined.  Drizzle generously with olive oil, and stir to coat.
  3. Dissolve miso paste in water in a small bowl until you have a thick liquid, then add the acidic element of your choice, and stir it all together.  Add the miso mixture to the salad, and stir  to coat.  
  4. Adjust seasonings as necessary, adding fresh cracked pepper.
  5. Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.  
  6. Serve!  If desired, garnish with more olives, crumbled cheese, toasted pine nuts, halved cherry tomatoes, or toasted cooked chickpeas, as your diet and restrictions allow!