I posted a picture of this yummy quinoa salad on instagram a while back and I've been meaning to write the recipe ever since. (I'm still trying to figure out how to be a mom to a baby and preschooler and find time to blog, imagine that! You can read more about that struggle here.) Anyway, this salad is really good and dead simple. Earthy quinoa and wilted spinach play perfectly with the sweetness of cherry tomatoes, and the whole dish is elevated by the bright-as-sunshine flavor only lemon can provide. This salad might just be the perfect summer side dish. Not only is it delicious and easy, it's super healthy.
It also gets bonus points in my book for being vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free; in other words, it's dietary restriction friendly. Whenever I entertain I try to have a dish like this, I'd hate to have a guest who couldn't find anything safe to eat. (I'm really big on feeding people, it's kinda my favorite.) So next time you fire up the barbecue, or are invited to a potlock, consider whipping up this yummy, healthy, simple salad; you won't be sorry.
I should mention that this salad is also delicious with orzo or couscous, just not quite as healthy or gluten-free. Oh, and if you're not vegan, a little feta makes it even betta!
Lemony Tomato Spinach Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups quinoa
- 1 large or 2 small lemons
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Prepare your quinoa. Rinse 2 cups and place in a large pan with 4 cups of water and two generous pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and let sit for 5 min off the heat.
- While the quinoa cooks prepare the dressing. In a large bowl place the zest of one large or two small lemons, plus their juice. Add a few large glugs of olive oil and a fair amount of salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Top the dressing with the spinach.
- Add the quinoa to the bowl while while it is still hot and toss. The heat will wilt the spinach perfectly and the whole thing will drink up all that lemony goodness.
- Add the tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serve warm, room temperature (my favorite), or chilled.
Here's to serving up summer in a bowl! Happy (healthy) cooking!