Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Strawberries and Goat Cheese

Serving Size: 4

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since I first posted about quinoa on my site.  Back then, quinoa was an up and coming food that hardly anyone had heard of.  Now, quinoa is the “it” food and you can find it everywhere from local grocery stores to restaurant menus.  Why is quinoa so popular?  It’s because it’s extremely versatile, easy to cook and oh yeah, it also just happens to be a nutritional powerhouse.

Because of all of these great health benefits, I get a lot of requests for recipes using quinoa.  Since quinoa doesn’t have much intrinsic flavor, it’s important to infuse it with flavor.  My Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Strawberries and Goat Cheese combines quinoa (I used the red variety) with nutrient-packed spinach, luscious strawberries, fresh basil and tangy goat cheese.  Toasted, sliced almonds add a delightful, earthy crunch.  The entire salad is tossed in a simple, homemade balsamic dressing that infuses the ingredients with bright, fresh flavor. The salad is delicious on its own but it’s also great topped with grilled chicken breast.  Eating healthy never tasted so good.

Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1.5 Tbsp sliced almond, toasted
  • 1 Ounce crumbled goat cheese
  • 0.67 cup sliced strawberry
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, cut into chiffonade (ribbons)
  • 2 cup baby spinach leaves
  • kosher salt
  1. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan along with 2 cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer the quinoa about 15 minutes until cooked.  Remove the lid and cook another 2-3 minutes until all of the water has evaporated.  Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.  Let the quinoa cool to room temperature.

Balsamic Dressing

  • kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 0.5 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • black pepper
  1. Whisk the vinegar, mustard and honey together in a small bowl.  Slowly pour in the olive oil while you continue to whisk.  Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the quinoa in a salad bowl along with the spinach, basil, strawberries, goat cheese and almonds.  Add the dressing and toss to combine all ingredients well.  Serve the salad alone or if desired, topped with slices of grilled chicken breast.

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