Happy Sunday! Sundays are my day for prepping lunches for work throughout the week. My criteria for meal prep basically comes down to this: easy, quick and nutritious. One of my favourite go-to meals to prep is a quinoa spinach power salad bursting with tomatoes, cucumbers and raisins, dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. It’s refreshing, it’s colourful, and it’s extremely good for you.
This salad it a fit for all salad. It satisfies almost every diet. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, you name it!! So is that why I call this a power salad? Nope. The reason that this salad is a power salad is because it is packed with so many nutrients you wouldn’t believe.
Quinoa is a super food (or power food). It is a tiny grain that is extremely nutrient dense. It completely stands out from any of the other traditional grains and does not even compare. Although termed a grain, quinoa is gluten-free and is not even part of the same plant family as wheat, oats, barley, or rye.
There are so many health benefits to quinoa consumption that to list them all would take up this entire blog post! So I will keep it brief. One of the main features of quinoa is its high protein content. It contains all the essential amino acids required and thus serves as a complete protein source. It is also a great source of healthy fats, fiber, B vitamins and other minerals.
But quinoa is not the only super food in this salad. That’s right, there is not just one super food, but two!! Spinach is another amazing super food. See my Gomae Spinach Salad post to read about the many health benefits of spinach.
So this salad pretty much makes for a complete meal. And although it is complete in itself, you can consider this a “base” salad. Add any ingredients that you want to it. Some great additions include: avocado, kale and apples. Somehow whatever you add to this works! Just remember that if you are adding lots of ingredients, you may need to increase the quantities of the lemon juice and olive oil in your vinaigrette.
So go ahead and make a big batch. It is so easy to make and it lasts several days in the fridge.
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups spinach, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, diced
- ½ cup diced cucumbers
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 and ½ tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 and ½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl, rinse the quinoa a few times.
- In a medium saucepan, boil 2 cups of salted water. Add the quinoa and continue to boil for about 10 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
- Drain the quinoa and let it cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins and cooled quinoa.
- In a small bowl, make your lemon vinaigrette. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour onto the salad and toss to coat.
- Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.