Sundried Tomato, Spinach and Quinoa Salad

This simple quinoa salad is perfect for packed lunches! cookieandkate.com

This salad couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve just returned home after a long weekend in Austin, Texas. Taco after taco, margarita after margarita. Chips and salsa in between. On the return home, I ate a scoop of Mexican vanilla ice cream for dinner. It was incredible.

quinoa and spinach

This was a girls’ trip, just for fun, and it was desperately needed. My taste buds got a break from all the cookbook recipe testing and now, I’m craving healthy home cooking once again. Please, remind me to take real vacations more often!

This mega-healthy quinoa and spinach salad was inspired by a Whole Foods buffet salad that I found in Kansas City last week. I was desperate for recipe inspiration, so I sampled a few of their salads and particularly enjoyed their spinach and quinoa salad with pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes. The sign said the salad had basil in it, but I sure couldn’t find any.

Anyway, I tried to recreate it at home and ended up making a few changes, of course. I swapped more affordable sliced almonds for the pine nuts (they taste better, too), skipped the nonexistent basil, and whipped up a zippy lemon dressing.

This salad packs up great for lunch. It would also make a lovely, protein-rich side salad. Top it with a fried egg and call it dinner. It’s vegan as is, but you could throw in some feta if you’d like. Chickpeas might be nice, too. Arugula is a great alternative to spinach (I could hardly decide between the two).

I’ve been frustrated with my quinoa ending up mushy lately, so I tried cooking the quinoa uncovered for 15 minutes this time, and it worked beautifully. I hope it works just as well for you. Please let me know!

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    Author: Cookie and Kate

    Recipe type: Salad

    Cuisine: Mediterranean

    Prep time:

    Cook time:

    Total time:

    Serves: 4 servings

    Ingredients

    Salad

    Lemon dressing

    Instructions

    Notes

    Recipe inspired by a quinoa salad at Whole Foods Market.
    Make it nut free: Replace the almonds with pepitas (green pumpkin seeds). Sunflower seeds might be nice, as would pine nuts if you aren’t sensitive to them (they are technically seeds).
    Storage suggestions: This quinoa will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for several days. Gently reheat or serve chilled.

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    Source: Cookie and Kate