Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Spinach Salad with Quinoa

I worked ten days straight and had pretty close to no food in the house except for ice cream.  As wonderful a condition as that sounds, I needed real food.  The McD's drive-thru was starting to memorize my order.

This is a basic, nutritionally complete, and pretty salad that used most of the basil growing in the pot.  The mint is optional, but I have so much of it at the moment that it seemed an appropriate accent.  I was going to use kale from the front yard as the green, but the spinach at the market looked especially lovely.  The only bad part about fresh spinach is how much effort it takes to clean and remove the stems.  I guess I could have bought a bag of pre-washed baby spinach and spared myself the effort, but I wasn't doing anything else while the quinoa was cooking, and I do like to do the nit-picky aspects of preparing a meal.

Oh, and from now on, green onions are getting a star, since I appear to have a lifetime supply of them growing in the back yard.  Use it or lose it.

1 bunch raw spinach (about 1 lb)
2 Roma tomatoes
*2 stalks green onion
*1/2 C dry quinoa
3 Tb olive oil
*1 clove garlic, minced
*juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1/4 C packed fresh basil leaves
1 Tb packed fresh mint leaves

1.  Cook the quinoa according to package directions.  Fluff with a fork and place in fridge to chill.

2.  De-stem spinach if necessary, then tear into manageable pieces.  Cut tomatoes into small dice and chop green onions.  Cut mint and basil into chiffonade.  Toss veggies together in a bowl with basil and mint leaves.

3.  In a separate bowl, make the dressing.  Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.  Not too much of the last two, just a generous shake.

4.  Before serving, top salad with quinoa and add dressing over all.  Toss if desired.

Serves 4 to 6

Difficulty rating  π

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