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March 2011 Issue
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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Whatever your position on globalisation there’s one thing you have to admit – it’s done wonders for the culinary world. Whereas once upon a time you’d be compelled to cook with whatever was available locally, these days our ingredients and ideas come from the furthest reaches of the globe.

This recipe is a great example; quinoa (pronounced kin-wah) from South America, feta from Greece, almonds from the Middle East, sun dried tomatoes from Italy and mushrooms from North America.

It draws elements from just about every conceivable culinary location and fuses them into a meal fit for the finest location you could possibly serve it in – the Kiwi backcountry.


Serves: light meal for four

Weight: 1kg

Volume: 1.8l

Calories: 2050 kcal

Cost: $19.50

Cooking time: 25min

Fuel: 165ml of white spirit or 60g of gas.*

*Based on an MSR Whisperlite or Primus Classic operating at sea level.


  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 250g mushrooms chopped
  • 100g sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • 50g almonds
  • 200g fetta, cubed
  • 50g parsley, finely chopped
  • 50ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Special utensils

A medium sized pot with a lid and a fry pan.


Rinse the quinoa under cold running water. Place in a saucepan with five cups of water. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and stand aside. The grains should be soft and translucent – a bit like miniature brown rice. Fry the mushrooms in oil then add the sun dried tomatoes, fetta, almonds, parsley and the well-drained quinoa. Mix thoroughly and serve.

It’s worth noting that quinoa is an unusual grain in that it’s very high in protein and amino acids – so if you’re going to go vegetarian in the backcountry, it’s a great thing to bring along.