Healthy Recipe: Strawberry Spinach Salad

May 18, 2021

Strawberry Spinach Salad- Sweet and savory come together in this easy spinach salad. Naturally sweet strawberries, spinach, quinoa, feta, basil and avocado are dressed in a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. A perfect healthy lunch or light meal option.

Nothing screams summer more that a big colorful salad! Wait until you taste the combo of flavors in this protein packed easy to prepare Strawberry Spinach Salad.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD:

1) Prepare the Quinoa

Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh colander for at least 30 seconds. Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan. Heat on medium-high until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat until mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa absorbs all of water (about 10 minutes). Remove pan from heat and cover for 5 minutes until quinoa “blooms” . Let the quinoa cool.

2) Prepare the Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic(optional) and salt & pepper in a small bowl until combined.

3) Assemble the Salad

Once quinoa is cooled, transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add roughly chopped spinach, sliced/diced strawberries, feta ,avocado, and chopped basil. Toss to combine. Add vinaigrette and lightly toss. Serve immediately.

VARIATIONS/SUBSTITUTIONS/ADD-INS

  • Extra Protein– If you want to add additional protein to this salad, grilled/cooked/rotisserie chicken are all good options. If you’d like to keep things plant based, chickpeas work nicely with the flavors in this salad.
  • Greens– prepared spinach blends such as spinach/spring lettuce mix or baby spinach/baby kale mix are great in this strawberry salad.
  • Fruit– blueberries, apples and pears are all good substitutions for the strawberries or good additions if you’d like more fruit.
  • Zip– add some sliced red onions.
  • Crunch– add some toasted or candied pecans, walnuts, almonds or cashews for extra crunch.

MAKE IT EVEN QUICKER:

This salad is already really easy to make, but here are a few ideas to make it even easier/faster:

  • Packaged Greens– Use pre-washed bagged baby spinach or spinach blends.
  • Boil-in-the-bag or frozen Quinoa– I usually have a box of Success Boil-in-the-bag quinoa on hand for those times I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to bother rinsing the quinoa or watch to see when the quinoa is done cooking. Literally you add the bag of quinoa to a pot of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, cut the top off the bag and it’s ready to go. (I’m not affiliated with the product I just happen to like how easy it is to have quinoa ready quickly). You can find Success Quinoa in the rice section of most grocery stores or on Amazon. Or look for frozen quinoa( usually in the frozen vegetable section of the grocery store) that can be microwaved.
  • Prepared Salad Dressing– Use your favorite bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing or I also like Poppyseed dressing with this salad too.
  • Ingredients

    Salad
    ▢ 1 cup water
    ▢ ½ cup uncooked quinoa rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa)
    ▢ 2 cups strawberries sliced (or diced)
    ▢ 6 cups baby spinach coarsely chopped (or baby spinach/spring lettuce mix)
    ▢ ½ cup crumbled feta cheese or crumbled goat cheese
    ▢ 1 large avocado diced
    ▢ ¼ cup fresh basil coarsely chopped
    Balsamic Vinaigrette
    ▢ ¼ cup olive oil
    ▢ 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    ▢ 1 tsp honey more to taste
    ▢ 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    ▢ 1 clove garlic minced (optional)
    ▢ Salt & pepper to taste

    Instructions

    1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh colander for at least 30 seconds. Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan. Heat on medium-high until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat until mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa absorbs all of water (about 10 minutes). Remove pan from heat and cover for 5 minutes until quinoa “blooms” . Let the quinoa cool.

    2. While quinoa is cooling, prepare the balsamic vinaigrette. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic and salt & pepper in a small bowl until combined.

    3. Once quinoa is cooled, transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add roughly chopped spinach, sliced/diced strawberries, feta ,avocado, and chopped basil. Toss to combine. Add vinaigrette and lightly toss. Serve immediately.

Looking for more healthy eating ideas? Get them here.

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