Strawberry & Spinach Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is wonderful. Wait. Let me revise that statement. In my humble opinion, quinoa is wonderful ... mixed INto things. Don't get me wrong, it's a fab source of protein and has tons of nutritional value, but after a while, it's not the most exciting thing to eat if you don't mix it up! I love finding new and different ways to use it. Recently I've been adding it into more and more salads at home, and decided to do the same with this gem. I made this for a small dinner for seven as a side dish, and was so very happy with how it came out. Fresh, beautiful to look at, sweet and savory, and totally checking off all boxes in the "good for you fuel" category. Simple, fresh, and flavorful. Can't get much better than that.

  • 1/2 C uncooked quinoa (I use rainbow - which a blend of white, red and black quinoa)
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 8 oz container of strawberries, cleaned, removed of stems, and sliced thin
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 large basil leaves, rough chopped
  • optional: 1/3 C toasted almonds (I didn't have any, but they would be awesome in this!)
  • Combine the onions, vinegar, EVOO and a pinch of salt & pepper to taste in a large bowl. Doing this first will allow the vinegar to work its magic with the onions, tenderize them and make them a bit sweeter.
  • Cook the quinoa - bring 1 cup water to a boil.
  • Add in the quinoa, cover, reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 10-15 minuets or until all the water is evaporated.
  • Set aside to cool completely.
  • Slice the strawberries.
  • Once the quinoa is cool, mix together the dressing with onions, berries and quinoa.
  • When you're ready to serve the salad, toss the spinach in and mix well.
  • Garnish with the fresh basil.
  • This will make about 3-4 servings.

I didn't have any on hand, but this would be awesome with toasted pecans or almonds!