summer quinoa salad with avocado and spinach

I don’t know about you guys, but when my husband and I are both hungry we tend to get a little crabby (ok…really crabby).  So we made up a rule that until we eat, we cannot talk to each other.  This little rule has changed our marriage 🙂  We don’t get into petty arguments over nothing anymore!  It’s actually really funny to think about, but it’s the truth.

All of that to say – this salad takes a little bit of time to make, so just make a snack to eat while you are making it so a UFC fight doesn’t break out in your kitchen 🙂   I found this delicious recipe off of pinterest (obsessed with that).  It is so refreshing with all of it’s natural ingredients.  Enjoy!

ingredients:

Salad
1/2 c. dry quinoa (I used Basil and Rosemary Quinoa and it was amazing).
2 c. vegetable broth
1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 c. cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 avocados diced
2 c. spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 c. onion
2 small cloves garlic

Dressing
Juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. cumin
dash of salt and pepper

directions:

Soak the quinoa in a pot in the veggie broth for about 15 minutes. Then, turn on the heat to medium high and let the quinoa come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium/low and let quinoa simmer. Stir occasionally and cook quinoa for about 20-25 minutes just until the liquid absorbs, so there is just a small amount of liquid left in the pot. Remove from heat and set aside.

In your food processor, put your spinach and cilantro in and pulse until finely chopped. Pour into a large bowl. Then add your onion and garlic into food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the cilantro mixture. Toss the garbonzo beans into the cilantro mixture until coated. When the quinoa is cooled, pour into the salad mixture.

Separately, add all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Then pour over the salad and toss. Finally, add the avocado and tomatoes and toss.

southwest quinoa salad

This past summer in Manhattan it was extremely warm in our apartment (no central air). The prospect of lighting up the stove and adding to the thick, humid air in our little kitchen was about as enticing as wearing wool tights to hot yoga. So, we decided to make a delicious raw southwest salad by Little House of Veggies. Recently, with the spring weather in the air, I started craving this raw dish and decided to add some quinoa and make my own variation.

I haven’t worked much with quinoa and I have been eager to give this protein-dense seed more attention in our kitchen; this seemed like the perfect dish to incorporate some quinoa! If you aren’t familiar with quinoa, it is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse! It’s high in protein (18%), magnesium and iron; it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source; and it is also a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus. The texture reminds me of couscous.

Enjoy this healthy dish! Note: this salad is great for leftovers – it works great for a quick lunch or put the mixture in a whole-grain wrap and make it a meal.

ingredients:

Salad:
1 cup quinoa (measuring 1 cup uncooked)
1 avocado, diced
¼  cup red onion, finely diced
1 tomato, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
½  yellow squash, diced
½  zucchini, diced
2 cups spinach, chopped
¼  cup broccoli, finely chopped
¾  cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Creamy Lime Dressing:
4 ½ T fresh lemon juice
4  T fresh lime juice
1 ½  T Veganaise
¼  cup olive oil
2 t cumin
1 t salt
dash of cayenne pepper
crushed black pepper to taste


directions:

  1. Cook quinoa. If working with unrinsed quinoa, soak quinoa for at least 15 minutes. After soaking, rinse for two or three minutes in a fine strainer. (If using pre-rinsed quinoa, skip this step.) Add quinoa and 1 ¼ cup water to pan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low. Cover and cook for 30-35 min. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff and set aside to cool. (I spread it out on a cookie sheet.)
  2. Wisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Place chopped veggies and cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to blend.