In January I made a whole list of goals and tasks I wanted to accomplish in 2013. One of those goals was to post more healthy recipes and meals. Ha ha ha, that hasn't happened! I did get all healthy with the juice cleanse and a month of vegan eating, but that didn't last long. Despite all the recipes for cookies, cupcakes, and other treats, I try to eat healthy meals. Anyone who has eaten lunch with me the past six years knows I tend to eat the same thing everyday, or at least a variation on a theme. I want a lunch that is healthful and filling and is something I don't have to think about. For the past six months I've been in love with quinoa salads. I have been making various versions like southwest, Mediterranean, and pesto. Over the next couple of weeks I hope to share some of my favorites with you.
What I like about quinoa salads is how well they keep in the fridge. It's easy to make a big batch and scoop out a portion each day for lunch. Usually I order in food on Friday, so four portions is the perfect amount for the week. Accompanied by some fruit and a crunchy snack, I'm good to go for the rest of the work day. This particular quinoa salad smells like garlic bread! I love the flavor of the cooked onions, garlic, and spinach with the burst of freshness from the raw tomatoes. The quinoa is full of protein and is the perfect little nugget to absorb the flavor. PS, cook your quinoa in broth, it makes a HUGE difference in flavor, trust me, if you want tasty quinoa, cook it in something tasty!
Tomato Spinach Garlic Quinoa Yield - 4 entree servings, 6 side servings
1 cup quinoa (I buy pre-rinsed) 2 cups vegetable stock pinch of salt 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 large yellow onion 4-5 cloves of garlic 5 ounces fresh baby spinach (one clamshell) 10 ounces cherry tomatoes juice of one lemon
- Add the quinoa, stock, and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan. Heat on medium-low so that the mixture is simmering. Stir occasionally and cook until all the stock is absorbed.
- Meanwhile add the oil to a large saute pan and finely dice the onion. Add the onion to the hot pan and cook until the onions begin to brown. Sprinkle the onions was a pinch of salt.
- Finely chop the garlic and add to the onions. Cut for one minute or until your smell the delicious garlic.
- Add the spinach and cook until all the spinach is wilted. Let cool slightly.
- Chop the tomatoes in half or in quarters if they are large. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt.
- Chop up the cooked spinach mixture and add to the tomatoes and then stir in the cooked quinoa.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon in the salad and stir.
- Serve hot, cold, or room temperature.