Green Quinoa Salad with Spinach Dressing

By Sally Cameron on May 26, 2013

Gluten-Free, Salads and Dressings, the daniel plan, Vegan, Vegetarian

Shopping at a favorite health-food market my tummy was rumbling, so I headed to the fresh deli section to grab a quick snack. They make this great green quinoa salad. The first time I ate it I gobbled the cup down sitting in my car. The second time, I thought, I’ve got to make this at home. The third time, they ran out, so I took a photo of the ingredient list and came up with my own recipe.

The “Green-wah” Salad

With spinach, cucumber, lime, and cilantro, this should be called the “green-wah” salad. It’s really green! Golden corn kernels and red onion give the salad a bit of a color break. Color aside, it tastes great and is healthy. With quinoa as the base, it’s gluten-free and high in protein.

Before cooking, rinse quinoa well in a fine sieve to remove the natural bitter coating called saponin. Cook quinoa and spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. While it’s cooling, do your vegetable and herb prep and make the spinach dressing.

Spinach Dressing

For the dressing, place 1 giant handful of washed baby spinach leaves into a blender. Add a little water, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and puree. Toss the cooled quinoa with the spinach dressing and the rest of the ingredients.

Enjoy this salad chilled for lunch or a snack. It also works beautifully as the base for grilled chicken, fish or as a side to burgers. Cool salad recipes are nice to have in your recipe box as we head into warmer weather. Salads like this also pack easily for a picnic.

One additional ingredient note – for more green, add diced avocado before serving!

spinach quinoa salad



Green Quinoa Salad with Spinach Dressing

This green quinoa salad with spinach, cilantro, lime and cucumber is healthy and refreshing. I enjoy it for lunch. It’s also great as a side dish with chicken, fish, shrimp or seared scallops. Feel free to taste and add more lime, cilantro or a little extra olive oil to suit your taste. If you can’t stand cilantro, use flat leaf parsley instead. For even more green, add diced avocado before serving.


  • 1 cup uncooked organic quinoa I use the tri-color
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-3 Persian cucumbers
  • a large handful of washed baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lime
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup organic corn kernels cooked and cooled
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 handful of cilantro leaves chopped fine
  • 1 firm but ripe avocado diced small


  • Place the quinoa in a fine sieve or strainer and run under cold water for a few minutes to rinse off the saponin (bitter outer coating). Shake off excess water and place in a 2 quart saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, top with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat as low as it will go. Cook for 18 minutes. When done, move the pan to a cool burner and allow to steam finish for 8-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. You can also use wax or parchment paper.
  • Quarter cucumbers lengthwise, then chop crosswise into small pieces.
  • Place spinach, water, oil, lime juice and zest, salt, pepper and chopped garlic in a blender and puree into a dressing.
  • Toss cooled quinoa in a bowl with corn, onion, chopped cilantro and enough of the dressing to coat. You may not use it all. Taste and adjust for what you prefer.
No Comments
  1. Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon - May 26th, 2013

    This sounds like a perfect summer lunch, and I like the idea of a nice piece of fish served on top for a dinner. The “Green-wah” just made me laugh.

  2. Lizzy (Good Things) - May 26th, 2013

    Oh wow, this looks delicious. Thank you for sharing, I just happen to have a large bag of quinoa in my larder and all the other fresh ingredients too!

  3. Shut Up and Cook - June 2nd, 2013

    I’ve been really enjoying my kale and spinach smoothies in the morning so can totally appreciate how nicely this spinach would work in the dressing. Quinoa truly is one of those miracle foods. Love it!

  4. Amy Rising - July 1st, 2013

    This Greenwah Quinoa is delicious!!

  5. Rosegirl - July 2nd, 2014

    Love the new recipe. I used lemon instead of lime because I just didn’t have one. I’m sure it changed the taste, but it was still great. The next time I make it, I’ll cut the garlic to one instead of two. Just a personal preference–I ended up with garlic breath. Hubby approved recipe. He wanted more!

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