Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Citrus

On the lookout for a classic spinach salad with quinoa? This version feels fancy and is full of bright flavors!

This is the time of year I really start to fall into a meal-planning rut. Maybe it’s the cold weather and lack of sunlight? I’m not able to go outside nearly as much and it’s easy to feel run down.

This citrusy salad is a fun way to bring some sunshine to those dark days! Any type of orange works here, but I’ve found organic minneolas to be the most fun. Also, grapefruit of blood orange would also add nice pops of color.

spinach salad with quinoa

While this salad would look lovely on the table at a dinner party, I assure you it packs just as well for a quick weekday lunch. Therefore, I recommend reserving the dressing on the side and adding just before eating to avoid limp greens.

Ingredient breakdown

Quinoa (or really any grain you have leftover) lends so heartiness, which crispy chickpeas add flavor and extra protein. You could throw on some pumpkin seeds for more plant protein as well, if desired!

Additionally, the dressing included below is a simple lemon vinaigrette, which lately I’ve been adding to most salads no matter their toppings; it’s very versatile. I’d imagine orange juice could be subbed for the lemon to continue that theme though🍊

quinoa salad

So, I hope you enjoy this simple salad! It’s become a staple in my house and I hope it brings some sunshine to your kitchens too. It will likely serve four- six people as a side and two-three people as a main!

How to make this spinach salad with quinoa

For vinaigrette:

  • 4 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pinches of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

For crispy chickpeas:

  • 2 TBS high heat oil, like avocado
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp each turmeric, cumin, and dried oregano
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast, optional
  • Pinch of salt

For salad:

  • 6 cups mixed greens of choice (I did spinach and baby kale)
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 cup baby carrots, diced
  • 1 cup leftover quinoa or rice

Method:

  1. In a small Mason jar, combine all vinaigrette ingredients. Shake vigorously and set aside. This may make more than you need, so feel free to store in fridge for later uses.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low and add avocado oil. Add chickpeas to skillet along with all spices. Stir every few minutes until the chickpeas are golden brown (around 10 minutes in total). Remove from heat and set aside. Slice your orange into rounds.
  3. Begin to assemble your salad, topping greens first with quinoa and then orange slices. Sprinkle carrot pieces on top, along with crispy chickpeas. Add dressing right before serving.

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