- 1/2 cup (80g) quinoa (tri-colored or plain)
- 1 cup (220g) chicken broth (vegetable broth or water will also work)
- 1/3 cup (30g) sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons (20g) shelled sunflower seeds
- 4 cups (100g) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup (45g) dried cranberries
- 1 Granny Smith or Fuji apple
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Optional: fresh, ripe avocado
- Optional: handful of feta cheese (add to personal preference)
- Store-bought Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette or Recipe below:
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 cup (70g) fresh, ripe raspberries
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup (95g) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- QUINOA: Prepare the quinoa by rinsing it in cold water in a fine mesh sieve. This removes the bitter saponin coating. Combine the quinoa and water (or broth) in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, add in a heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste), reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, keep the quinoa covered, and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then add 2-3 tablespoons of the prepared dressing (see next step). Toss and place in the fridge to chill until at room temperature.
- DRESSING: While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a small blender or food processor combine the red wine vinegar, sugar (See Note 1), raspberries, Dijon mustard, and salt. Blend or pulse until completely smooth. Slowly pour in the oil and blend just until emulsified. Do not over-blend. Transfer mixture to a mason jar and stir in the poppy seeds. Place the lid on the jar and allow dressing to chill in the fridge while preparing the other components of the salad. Re-shake to combine before dressing the salad.
- TOAST NUTS: Meanwhile, add the sliced almonds and sunflower seeds in a single layer to a completely dry skillet (don’t add any oil) and place on medium high heat. Stir the nuts and seeds every 15 seconds for about 1-3 minutes or until the color slightly darkens and they start to smell good. Watch these carefully as they can go from perfectly toasted to burned quickly!
- APPLE and AVOCADO: If desired, peel the apple (we leave the peel on). Chop or thinly slice the apple. If using an avocado, remove the skin and thinly slice or chop. Toss both with the lemon juice.
- ASSEMBLY: Mix the coarsely chopped spinach with the cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Add in the chopped apple, avocado if using, and dried cranberries. Add in the cooled almonds and sunflower seeds.
- DRESSING: Toss salad with the dressing (use as much or as little as desired; you’ll likely have a bit extra to use on another salad). If desired, add in some feta cheese and enjoy immediately.
- STORAGE: This salad doesn’t sit well with the dressing, so only dress what will be enjoyed the same day. Store any leftover salad and dressing separately. Apples and avocado will brown if cut in advance.