Friday, January 22, 2016

Quinoa Salad with Strawberries and Spinach

by Missy Tippens

I wanted to share the basis of another recipe I've made from the $5 Meal Plan site {Side note: To clarify from last week's post, the meal does not cost $5. That is the price of a month's worth of meal plans.} :)

I'm loving using the meal plans! But I don't think I can keep sharing the recipes on here since it's a paid service. Today, though, I'm going to share my adaptation of this one since it was so simple!

Make quinoa according to package directions. Chill in the refrigerator. (Plan ahead! I ended up having to serve mine sort of warm for a dinner party.) Before serving, add chopped spinach and chopped strawberries.



Toss with a sweetish salad dressing. I used Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette.

I also stirred in chopped maple glazed pecans. We keep these Emerald Pecan Pie nuts on hand for salads--delicious!



Alas, I forgot to take a photo of the dish! It's so pretty and would be amazing to serve at Christmas.

This was a great side dish/salad as well as main dish since the quinoa has so much protein. We've eaten it leftover, too!


14 comments:

  1. I love colorful dishes but I STILL have not tried quinoa. A friend of mine eats a strawberry- spinach salad for lunch every day and I tasted it once. I felt like I was mixing dishes. I think I'd rather have strawberries, and then spinach salad. But I think the quinoa would really bring these two together. I'll have to try it out.

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    1. Virginia, in dishes like that, a tangy cheese, like a blue or feta, helps bridge the two flavors. Just a thought.

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    2. Good point, Mindy!

      I love fruit in salads--spinach or lettuce. So it's not a stretch for me.

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  2. Missy, I've done the strawberry/spinach/bacon salad (similar to the one that won a big cooking prize years ago) and I toss other veggies into it and use a raspberry dressing, and I love it. Nuts, too.... but I wouldn't have thought of doing quinoa... The one time I tasted it, it was like mush. :( Someone told me it hadn't been cooked right, and that might be the case, but I haven't tried it again. I am very proud of myself that I actually know how to pronounce it. :) VICTORY!!!!

    What was the quinoa texture like in this?

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    1. I hadn't thought of it until just now, Ruthy, but the quinoa lends a bit of a nutty flavor.

      Don't mind me, I'm just thinking out loud.

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    2. Like Mindy said, it does add a little nutty flavor. Ruthy, I wonder if what you had was overcooked? It kind of reminds me of the feel of grits or cream of wheat but with more texture than that.

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    3. BTW, the thought of spinach, bacon and strawberry has my mouth watering!

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  3. Missy, I do love a good strawberry-spinach salad, but never thought of the quinoa. I could see how that would really bulk things up, making it more of a meal. Like Ruthy, though, I have a hard time cooking it. I cook it per the package directions, yet it never absorbs all of the liquid. Frustrating.

    I could see where this is one of those recipes you could really play with, add several different things. Blue cheese and pine nuts come to mind, though I'm not sure why. ;-)

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    1. Mindy, I think you could play with this a lot. One thing I messed up on was that I made too much quinoa. The recipe said 2 cups, so I measured out 2 cups of the grains. But I realized after the fact that it probably meant 2 cups of cooked quinoa. LOL So if you make it as intended, you'd have a nice mix of grain and fruit and veggies. That would make it feel lighter and more like a salad. Plus it wouldn't absorb so much of the dressing.

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  4. This sounds like a great salad! I love spinach and strawberries together, and the quinoa would add a bit of protein along with providing a different texture.

    Your pecans intrigue me, though! I've never seen them in the store (but I haven't been looking, either). I'll have to keep a look out for them. They'd be great in salads!

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    1. Also meant to say that in our store they're hanging above the regular nuts (not the produce section where we find our flavored almonds).

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  5. Another exciting twist to a salad. Y'all are definitely pushing me out of my ho-hum boring salad-making. This sounds yummy.

    I'm also someone who hasn't cooked with quinoa a lot. I made one horrid recipe years ago that was supposed to taste like rice pudding but it sooooooo did not! It was actually quite vile so that turned me off for a long time. I've eaten out at vegan restaurants but haven't attempted anything at home. Maybe it's time.

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    1. You should give it another try, Kav. :)

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