One Last Summer Salad Before the Fall

Happy Friday everyone!  It’s the beginning of a long weekend here in America. Yaaaay!  And the unofficial end of summer.  Boooo.   But!  We still have one weekend left.  One last hurrah before it’s time to start taking life seriously again (in my case, studying like crazy) at least until the holiday season kicks into gear.  The daylight is decreasing, evenings are cooler (which is actually really nice) vacations are coming to a close, and we prep for changing leaves, pumpkins, squash, and my favorite: soup!  I’m looking forward to sharing Fall with you all but today I want to share one final summer salad.  If you’re picnicking or cooking out over the weekend, this would be a great side-dish or even main course if you’re kicking back and laying low.  Either way you choose, this dish is healthy, light and easy to prepare. (For your reading pleasure I have photo-documented the steps.  See below.)

Spinach & Quinoa Salad (makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 yellow or orange pepper
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 spring onions (or whichever type of onion you have on hand)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of chickpeas
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (chilled)
  • two large handfuls of baby spinach
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: bleu or parmesan cheese, whichever you like

Step 1, prep the quinoa:

Cook the quinoa and set aside to cool.  (I cook one cup of quinoa with one and a half cups of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 15 minutes).  This can be done in advance and chilled in the fridge but if not, give the quinoa about an hour to cool.  (Here’s my quinoa cooling in a bowl :))

Step 2, prep the pretty colors:

Chop the pepper, onion and garlic and quarter the cherry tomatoes.  Add the chickpeas and a little salt and pepper.  Toss everything together with a little oil and balsamic vinegar.   If you have a favorite vinaigrette feel free to use that instead.  See below, sans oil and vinegar and S&P.

Step 3, prep the prettiest color on the planet (ok, well I think so):

Plate up the handfuls of spinach.  Voila!

Step 4, bit by bit, putting it together:

Top the spinach with two large spoonfuls of cooled or chilled quinoa.  There will be leftover quinoa, save it for another yummy nutritious meal tomorrow.  Top the quinoa with the tossed peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas.  If you choose, add a little more oil and/or vinegar to top off the salad and some freshly cracked black pepper.  As a non-vegan option, sprinkle on some bleu cheese crumbles or parmesan.  (You can see the bleu cheese on the plate in the background.)

That’s all folks!  Easy and quick.  If you’re eating out, pack up each step separately and put it all together when ready to serve.  I hope you enjoy it and most especially, I hope you have a wonderful, happy and safe weekend.  See you all on the Strala Blog on Monday. 🙂

2 thoughts on “One Last Summer Salad Before the Fall

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