Are you ready for Memorial Day weekend this year? I’m hoping that the Seattle weather will cooperate but it won’t stop me from creating a healthy dish to bring to parties this holiday weekend. May is, in fact, National Salad Month, so I wanted to share my favorite, quick and easy Summer Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Spinach.
There’s no need for mayo-laden salads of the past. My family’s favorite is potato salad, but I’ve never cared for it. Green salads can wilt and be messy to serve, especially if Memorial day is hot in your area. If you have a quinoa salad instead, you can really maximize the fiber and protein plus add a larger variety of antioxidant-rich ingredients. As a salad that carries very well and that you can make ahead for ease during this busy time of the year, try this light quick summer quinoa salad with Cherries and Spinach. It is full of fresh seasonal fruit and veggies plus plenty of protein sources to keep you satiated and energized all day. This salad really could be it’s own meal with a nice balance of fat, protein and complex carbohydrates.Quick, healthy Summer Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Spinach Click To Tweet
Bonus: this salad makes fabulous leftovers for work, as a snack or pre/post workout. This is just one of many varieties of quick summer quinoa salad with Cherries and Spinach – what are some of your favorites?
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups fresh cherries (pitted and halved)
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Combine quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat to cool. Roll several spinach leaves at a time into a cylinder on a cutting board then slice into slivers. Repeat with all spinach and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, toss together quinoa, spinach, cherries and chickpeas. In a separate small bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and fold gently to combine all ingredients. Add almonds and stir to incorporate Chill at least 30 minutes.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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