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.
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.
- Before cooking, rinse quinoa well in a fine sieve to remove the natural bitter coating called saponin.
- To use fresh corn, boil the cobs in salted water for 3-4 minutes, then slice off the cob for the salad. Alternatively use frozen, thawed, organic corn.
- Peel, seed, and dice the avocado just before adding it to the salad to mix.
Cook quinoa and spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. While it’s cooling, chop the onion and cucumbers, 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.
Avocado Quinoa Salad with Spinach Dressing
Avocado Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup uncooked organic quinoa I use the tri-color
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup frozen, thawed organic corn kernels or 2-3 cobs cooked and sliced off
- ⅓ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 avocado diced small
- 2-3 Persian cucumbers
- 1 large handful washed baby spinach leaves
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lime zested, juiced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped fine
- 2 handfuls cilantro leaves chopped fine
Make the Dressing
- Start by making the dressing: Place spinach, water, oil, lime juice and zest, salt, pepper and chopped garlic in a blender and puree into a dressing.
Cook the Quinoa
- 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.
Finish the Salad
- Quarter cucumbers lengthwise, then chop crosswise into small pieces.
- 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.
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!
Amy Rising says
This Greenwah Quinoa is delicious!!
Shut Up and Cook says
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!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
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!
Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says
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.