Spinach Quinoa Salad Cherries & Almonds
- 2 cups cooked quinoa already cooked according to package (approximately 1/2 cup dry quinoa, becomes 2 cups cooked)
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves chopped into slivers or thin strips
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- 1 1/2 cup cucumber diced (approximately 1 small cucumber, skin on or peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch slices, then quartered)
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas drained and well rinsed
- 1/2 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds if nut-free more according to tastes - I prefer the extra crunch and add extra when serving
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper more or less to taste
- olive oil if sauteing chickpeas
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt I used Almond Milk Yogurt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Cook quinoa if not already done so
- In a small saucepan, place a heaping 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to simmer, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Once water is absorbed, turn off heat and let cool briefly. Fluff with fork before using.
- Note: We tend to cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water and just use the extra throughout the week. And if you have extra quinoa, you could always add more to the salad if you want it a bit heartier.
Make the dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Toast almonds (optional)
- Over medium-high heat, saute almonds in a dry saucepan until lightly toasted, stirring frequently so as to not burn any, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Saute Chickpeas (optional but recommended)
- I recently started sauteing the chickpeas before adding to the salad and love the flavor. Heat a small skillet over medium heat, add olive oil to coat pan, add chickpeas, sprinkle generously with kosher salt and saute 3-5 minutes or until warm and slightly crisp.
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients -- quinoa, spinach, sauteed chickpeas, almonds, spinach, cherries, cucumber. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with dressing and toss together to combine.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Stays fresh for 1-2 days or as I do with many salads, assemble the salad but don't add the dressing until ready to serve.