Posts Tagged ‘Quinoa Salads’

Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad

If there is one ingredient I love it is lemons. There is something about that citrus addition that brightens flavors so much. Today I am sharing my favorite Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad that is one of my favorite ways to use lemons in my house.

Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad

More importantly though, we are celebrating this citrus ingredient today in honor of a very special blogger that I have truly grown to love and her beautiful blog, “The Lemon Bowl.”  I am so excited to be celebrating Liz in a virtual baby shower today with so many amazing bloggers to share in this celebration.

If you haven’t visited The Lemon Bowl before, you are in for a treat. Liz creates the most delicious dishes and finds new ways to make healthy dishes seem absolutely sinful. She is one of my favorite food bloggers to follow on Instagram and you will often find her in recipe development or shopping at the local farmer’s market through her photo stream.

Everyone that is participating will be using lemons in some way whether it is a delicious side, a soup, an appetizer, or a dessert. Lemon is one of the most versatile ingredients and the zest and juice from lemons are often my secret weapon in making the dishes I create stand out.

Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad

Today I wanted to share my favorite lemon recipe that I love to create and share at potlucks, cookouts, and just as a quick and healthy lunch for myself. As you know, I am quinoa-obsessed these days. With the ease of preparing quinoa in the rice cooker, I love to make big batches of it to use in my dishes throughout the week.

This Lemon Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad gets all of its flavor from the zest and juice of a lemon. Tossing the quinoa with my favorite combination of spinach and tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, and just a little salt and pepper makes this dish both easy and very budget-friendly.

If you want to add even more protein to this, consider adding a little roasted chicken breast (I love this method of preparation)  or dice a little chicken using a prepared rotisserie chicken. Thanks to using quinoa in this, rather than pasta, you already have a protein-filled dish that doesn’t even need the meat.

If you are looking for more ideas to create with quinoa check out my Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers, my Greek Quinoa Salad, these Quinoa- Berry Breakfast Bowls, and the super delicious Pumpkin Nut Quinoa Breakfast that is just perfect for Fall. Don’t you just love how versatile this ingredient is?


Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad

 Want to join in on the virtual baby shower? Here is a list of all of the amazing participants and their delicious dishes that they created in honor of Liz and her new baby:




Main Dish


Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
An easy gluten-free salad that is always a crowd-pleaser!
  • 1 pound spinach, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 lemons, zested (reserve the lemons for juicing over the pasta)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (use the technique I shared above)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the bowl
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Prepare quinoa in your rice cooker or as directed on packaging.
  2. Pile spinach leaves in stacks 1 on top of the other. Thinly slice stacks of leaves to make spinach confetti. Pile shredded spinach into the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Halve grape or cherry tomatoes with a paring knife and add them to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add the zest of 2 lemons to the bowl reserve the lemons for adding juice to the sauce later.
  5. Add hot cooked quinoa to the mixing bowl. The heat of the quinoa will wilt the spinach and warm the tomatoes at the bottom of the bowl and get the juices flowing from veggies. The heat of the quinoa will also release the flavor and oils in the lemon zest.
  6. Drizzle 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of two lemons over the quinoa and toss to combine the veggies and quinoa.
  7. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste. Toss the ingredients together to combine.
  8. Serve with grated parmesan cheese or leave plain if you are taking the salad on the go.
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Greek Quinoa Salad

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Greek Quinoa Salad from

Labor Day festivities are just around the corner and with that comes the fun with grilling out and sharing dishes with friends. Today I wanted to share a delicious Greek Quinoa Salad that can be made with many of the veggies lurking in that backyard garden and that easily pairs with a few items you just might have in your pantry.

Walmart challenged me to create a unique dish for Labor Day and I couldn’t wait to share this one. You see, I have been going through a bit of an identity crisis since my visit with my allergist. I was advised to limit my pasta intake and it has been a hard sacrifice for me because I happen to love my pasta…and, sadly, my pasta salads are my claim to fame in the cookout world.

I’m thankful that I discovered quinoa last year because it has helped me so much with my pasta hurdle. I hope you caught my Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers I made last week and that handy tutorial for preparing your quinoa in the rice cooker! I have been continuing to experiment with this delicious and protein-packed ingredient for my summer cooking and couldn’t wait to pair it with some of my favorite Greek flavors. This quinoa salad proves that there are certainly some fun ways around that pasta hurdle and I doubt you will even miss your pasta after you try this!

Greek Quinoa Salad from

The most labor-intensive part of this recipe (no pun intended!) is the chopping. It is an awful lot of chopping, but the flavors are so worth it. This Greek Quinoa Salad is filled with fresh vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, and fresh parsley. The salty bites come from the Greek olives and the bites of feta cheese (optional, should you be dairy-free). The whole salad is tied together with a delicious red wine vinaigrette made even more flavorful the longer that it sits.

Greek Quinoa Salad from is one of those recipes that you can customize depending on what you have growing in your garden or what is on sale that week in your store. If you are shopping Walmart, be sure to bring the competing store fliers in and have them price match those produce prices for you!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope it can be your very own, “claim to fame,” at your next cookout! Happy Labor Day, friends! Greek Quinoa Salad from

Greek Quinoa Salad
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This Greek Quinoa Salad has all the right flavors, colors, and textures with a light vinaigrette dressing to round it all out.
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and finely chopped to a paste
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 cups red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup pitted Greek olives
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cucumber, diced and seeds removed
  • Feta for sprinkling on salad (optional)
  1. In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and zest from one lemon. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer until the water runs clear.
  3. Prepare quinoa as directed above in a rice cooker or according to package directions.
  4. Transfer the cooked quinoa into a bowl, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  5. Add the tomatoes, olives, chopped red bell pepper, chopped cucumbers and dressing and toss to coat.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours before serving. The longer it sits the better the flavor.
  7. Just before serving, transfer to a platter and sprinkle feta on top.

Adapted from Bobby Flay Fit

Looking for more fun cookout dishes? Be sure to check out the Best Steak Marinade in Existence, my Corn Grilled in the Husks, my Three Cheese Grilled Potatoes, and my delicious Grilled Portobello Burgers to tempt your tummy!



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