Fruity Spinach and Quinoa Salad

Henrietta Norton BSc, Dip NT, MBANT, AFMCP Co-founder of Wild Nutrition and Nutritional Therapist.

Ingredients

75g or 85g of quinoa (raw, uncooked)
450g fresh spinach, washed, dried, torn into pieces
300g fresh organic strawberries or raspberries, washed
60g chopped walnuts or sliced almonds

Dressing:
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
2 spring onions, chopped
55ml extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
55ml organic rapeseed oil
55ml balsamic vinegar

Serves 6–8.

Quinoa is a light and textured alternative to rice or pasta. In comparison to cereal grains like wheat, quinoa can provide monounsaturates (heart-healthy fats) and also provide small amounts of the essential omega-3 fatty acid.

Enjoy this salad in the summer when strawberries and raspberries are at their best!

Method

To cook the quinoa:

For two servings take 75g; once familiar with the amount it won’t be necessary to keep measuring it.

Before cooking, rinse the quinoa in a small saucepan several times with cold water.

Once the kettle has boiled pour 1 1/2 cups of water over the quinoa. You may also add a pinch of salt, pepper and lemon to boost flavour. Place a lid on and rapidly bring to the boil, turn down to simmer for approximately 8 minutes.

As the grain cooks it will become more translucent; the centre will be the last part to cook. It is ready when most (but not all) of the grains have lost the white germ centre. This leaves a slight bite to it (al dente), or alternatively cook until as desired. If it is overcooked it will become more soft and mushy.

Once drained, stir in a little olive oil (and a pinch of rock salt) before serving to stop it sticking (even if you are going to let it cool and then freeze).

Batch cooking & storage:

Cooked quinoa lasts longer than rice and can be kept in the fridge for two days. Batch cook and put into smaller daily portion containers or freezer bags once cooled. You can then take one out to defrost for the next day when required. Quinoa does not need to be re-heated to be eaten but can safely be re-heated if desired.
Cut berries in half and arrange over spinach in a serving bowl. Mix into cooked quinoa.

Combine dressing ingredients in blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Just before serving, pour over salad and toss. Garnish with nuts.

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