Quinoa Spinach Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Toasted Almonds

Quinoa Spinach Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Toasted Almonds

It's no secret to my friends or to regular readers of this blog that I consider quinoa to be an absolutely essential staple grain in anyone's kitchen and diet. As simple to cook and as versatile an ingredient as ordinary white rice, quinoa's light and fluffy texture and a delicately sweet and nutty taste make it a treat on any plate even on its own. But it's an almost perfect balance of essential amino acids and proteins — rare in the plant kingdom — that make quinoa such an important food, especially for vegetarians. You just can't lose.

So it was a no-brainer for me to pick up Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming's wonderful new quinoa cookbook, Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfoodthe other day. And it was not a disappointment! Filled with beautiful colour photographs and a wide selection of easy-to-follow recipes for all sorts of dishes and occasions, this book is a perfect introduction to those who have never tried quinoa before, and will provide plenty of inspiration to those who have long enjoyed this amazing grain.

This simple but colorful and delicious salad is adapted from Quinoa 365and can serve as a side salad or as a light lunch or supper on its own. An appetizing and healthy light lunch for me today, I'm also posting this as a friendly reminder that I'm taking quinoa recipes until November 20th for this month's No Croutons Required food blogging event. Anyone with a favourite quinoa recipe is invited to submit it to me following the instructions posted here. Bon appetit!

This also goes to Jayasri who is asking for recipes featuring pomegranate seeds. Thanks to Priya for starting this event.

Quinoa Spinach Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Toasted AlmondsQuinoa Spinach Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Toasted Almonds
Recipe by
Adapted from Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood
Published on November 19, 2010

Simple, colorful, healthy and delicious quinoa salad tossed with spinach, almonds, Feta cheese and pomegranate seeds

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Salad:
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sheep milk Feta, crumbled
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Rinse and scrub the quinoa under cold running water. Place in a small saucepan, cover with 1 cup of fresh cold water, and leave to soak overnight. The following day, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.

  • Preheat an oven to 350°. Slice the almonds and spread with the flesh side up over a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes or until the almonds are lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

  • Distribute the spinach over 4 to 8 dinner plates depending on the desired serving size. Scatter the onion, Feta, almonds and pomegranate seeds over top each plate. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad servings. Serve right away.

Makes 4 lunch servings or 8 side servings
Quinoa Spinach Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Toasted Almonds

Other quinoa salad recipes you may enjoy:
Quinoa and White Bean Salad with Wasabi and Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Beet Salad with Quinoa, Chickpeas and Miso and Tahini
Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Lemon and Tahini

On the top of the reading stack: Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij.

Audio Accompaniment: Carbon Based Life Forms.

10 comments:

avonbyshanna said...

We love spinach salads, and this one looks and sounds so tasty - a definite must-try! :)

swapna said...

healthy and tasty salad....love it!!

Priya said...

Wat a complete,wholesome and droolworthy salad, very inviting..

Dimah said...

What a beautiful salad! looks delicious!

Johanna GGG said...

beautiful - nuts and pomegranate seeds make it perfect for festive occasions

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Done it very nicely. Please also link (and send) it to my CWF event as well.

Nicole said...

Hi Lisa,
I am curious about what quinoa you use. I have used an organic boxed brand from Loblaws and brown variety. Neither said to soak overnight so I wonder if I am missing something.

Thanks,

Nicole

Lisa said...

Hi Nicole;

I use Bob's Red Mills yellow quinoa, though the Loblaws version is fine too. The quinoa doesn't need to be soaked to cook, but the soaking process helps to break down phytates and enzyme inhibitors in the quinoa that can prevent the absorption of nutrients into the body.

Cris said...

Made this last week and it was a hit! I toasted the quinoa with coconut oil before boiling to give it an extra nutty flavour. Also, can't have balsamic vinegar so I used apple cider vinegar and the extra bit of juice from the pomegranate seeds to make it pink.

Erin said...

I made this tonight, and it was a hit! Thanks!