Have you ever had a salad that was so filling it was like a meal all on its own? That’s what this Quinoa Salad with Spinach is like, and you could still add some grilled chicken, shrimp or tofu chunks to it for an added protein kick.
I really like eating salads but probably don’t do it as much as I should. When I do though, I like them to pack some punch. I remember working as a chef in a hotel many years ago and every meal would leave the kitchen with a lettuce leaf, onion and a tomato slice on the side of the plate, it was more of a garnish, but looking back, it looked really sad.
Now, whenever I have a salad I try to pack in as much flavor as I can. Even the pre-packed versions available at some grocery stores look fantastic. The salad has come a long way from some chopped up iceberg lettuce and tomato. I think salad producers are listening to the consumer because the choice of prepared leafy greens has grown so much in the past few years.
What’s so good about quinoa?
Quinoa has always been a great ingredient for a super-salad. It has huge health benefits such as being packed with vitamins and healthy carbohydrates. It’s also high in protein and makes a great lunch choice to keep those haunger pains away until dinner time.
It’s so easy to cook and goes well with just about anything. It’s also gluten-free and a great filler making perfect veggie burgers and patties. I buy the tri-color quinoa just because it looks a little more exciting than plain white quinoa, but you can switch this recipe to whatever kind you can find.
This is also a great salad for making in bulk and cleaning out your fridge. Cook a big pot of quinoa at the beginning of the week and just dress it as needed. You can switch to any salad vegetable you like so get adventurous and scour your produce section or farmers market for some tasty add-in’s! Roast your favorite veggies, let them cool and mix through the cooked quinoa,
Can this salad be served warm?
Good question! I would recommend eating it cold or at room temperature. By heating it up I think you’d lose a lot of the freshness and bite from all of the healthy ingredients.
How long will this quinoa salad last?
Store the salad in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days and only dress the salad when you serve it. By adding all of the dressing at once the salad would be soggy within a day or two.
Check out these other healthy quinoa recipes!
Climbing Grier Mountain- Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad
Skinny Taste- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Oh She Glows- Cumin, Lime and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Red Wine Vinaigrette
For The Dressing
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
For The Salad
- 3 1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa 1 cup uncooked yielded 3 1/2 cups for me
- 1 cup finely sliced red onion
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 3/4 cup garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup diced orange pepper
- 1/2 cup diced green pepper
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives halved
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 4 cups spinach leaves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse. Slowly add the olive oil and blend again until the dressing has emulsified. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, spinach, onion, cucumber, beans, both peppers, olives, tomatoes and feta cheese.
Add about half of the dressing and toss well.
Taste the salad and add more dressing if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve at once.
You can make the salad ahead of time. Cover and store in the fridge adding the dressing just before serving.