Quinoa-Spinach Salad

Sometimes it’s nice to make dinner and lunch at the same time, which is exactly what I did last night. I was in the mood for something lighter and healthier (after a ton of heavy eating in cottage country) so the first thing that came to mind was, of course, quinoa.

However, I am starting to get real sick of quinoa salads where quinoa is used as the base, so I decided to use spinach as the base instead and use quinoa as one of the many lovely toppings.

Everything I put into this salad was quite easy to prepare. First I roasted a couple sweet potatoes.

Because I didn’t have much patience to roast the potatoes for a long time, I chopped them up quite small and roasted them at 475° F for 20 minutes. They turned out quite nicely, aside from a couple burnt pieces, they were crispy and tender.

I prepared two cups of quinoa and spread it across a tray when it was done so it would cool down quickly. As the potatoes were roasting and the quinoa was simmering, I halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped up avocado and herbed goat cheese.

In my vinaigrette was olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and honey — easy peasy.

I ate this meal for dinner and I plan to eat it for lunch today 🙂

Oh and I also made some for my sisters and boyfriend — they are quite excited for their lunches.

Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Quinoa-Spinach Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Makes 5-6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups of dry quinoa
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (I used herbed)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 ° F. Line baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. Mix cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Spread across baking sheet and roast about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place 2 cups of quinoa and four cups of water in medium pot. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer until all the water is absorbed.
  4. Once quinoa and sweet potatoes have cooled, place spinach leaves, then quinoa, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, avocado, and goat cheese in serving dish.
  5. Whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette and drizzle over salad. Serve cold.

Yours edibly,

Elana

Kale Eatery

My friend Ali and I both share a special love for vegan, gluten-free, raw foods. When Ali told me about Kale Eatery, I was very excited to try it out.

Kale Eatery is probably the only place in Toronto where you can pile a plate high with stews, salads and slime, and feel great about eating it all.

We chose to eat from the salad bar. When colourful food stares me in the eye like that I just really don’t have the patience to order off an a la carte menu.

So this is Ali’s plate:

I am going to try my best to name everything on her plate from memory, from the top, going clockwise: green pea and cucumber salad, squash stew, cole slaw, portobello mushroom and egglant salad, steamed kale and broccoli with tofu miso dressing.

Now my plate:

Clockwise from the top: squash stew, tomato, avocado, and celery salad, portobello mushroom and eggplant salad, tofu, lentil, and leek salad, tofu miso dressing, herbed artichokes, and tofu curry salad in the center.

This place is delicious and nutritious — seriously. If you’re into this sort of thing then you should definitely pay Kale a visit. Although some of the salads were slightly under-seasoned for my taste buds, I have to cut the chefs some slack. It’s not easy making simple, raw food so tasty, and Kale’s selection of salads is pretty good.

You can find the menu on Kale’s website – check it out and let me know what you think.

Yours meatless-ly,

Elana