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.
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!
Green Quinoa Salad with Spinach Dressing
- 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.