Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach

Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach

Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach
Quinoa (keen-wa) is an ancient grain-like seed that originated in South America over five thousand years ago. This tiny seed is chock full of tons of valuable nutrients, including all eight essential amino acids. Add in lots of other highly beneficial attributes, vitamins and minerals, plus the fact that it’s gluten-free and easy to digest and it’s pretty easy to understand it’s recent rise in popularity.

However, quinoa is still a bit new to my diet. Mostly because I don’t know what to make with it. Slowly I’m learning how to incorporate this versatile seed into my everyday meals. This salad is bright, fresh and easy. And did I mention that it’s also tasty and healthy? Say hello bikini body!

Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • generous handful of baby spinach
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • handful of pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Following the directions on the package, cook quinoa in the chicken broth. The quinoa should come to a boil, then cover it and put it on a low simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked it will absorb all the broth. Add remaining ingredients to a large resealable bowl and shake until contents are well incorporated. Serve cold.

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Macaroni Salad

This macaroni salad is a staple in our house in the summer. I make a big batch and we eat it as a side dish with just about every summer meal. Funny story about this recipe, is that it actually started out as an accident. It was Spring Break ’06 in Daytona Beach and we had gone shopping for (cheap) food to grill and side dishes to make. I accidentally grabbed the wrong seasoning, ended up using it anyways and it turned out to be delicious!

(and, yes, I’m a big weirdo and I eat my hot dogs with a knife and fork!)

Macaroni Salad

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 7-8 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons McCormick Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme seasoning

Boil macaroni according to package directions. Drain and run cold water over the pasta until cool to the touch. Add all ingredients into a large bowl and stir until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Greek Salad Dressing

This one doesn’t need much explanation other than that I use this dressing on everything! It’s delicious on a salad and also great for marinating chicken. It even makes a good dip for warm bread. Canola oil works better in this instance because it doesn’t congeal in the refrigerator like olive oil does. Also using red wine vinegar gives it a much more Greek flavor where balsamic tends to taste more Italian.

Greek Salad Dressing

  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1-1/2teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2teaspoonsdried chopped onions
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Add all ingredients into a glass, Good Seasons cruet and shake well until combined. Refrigerate.

Cucumber Salad

This is one of my husband’s favorites and it’s a perfect salad to bring to a memorial day party. It’s a cold, refreshing and crunchy side when served with a burger or grilled chicken. If you don’t have a mandolin it’s perfectly okay to use a knife, but try to slice the cucumber as thinly as possible. I’m a little OCD so I like to know my cucumber slices are all the same size.

Cucumber Salad

  • 1 english cucumber
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Slice cucumber with a mandolin to 1/4″ thickness. In a small bowl, add remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated. Combine with cucumbers in a sealable dish and refrigerate overnight.

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