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Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach and Grape Tomatoes

Quinoa salad with baby spinach and tomatoes #vegan #glutenfree
Quinoa salad with baby spinach and tomatoes.

Quinoa + Spinach = Salad Days

Here is a wonderful year-round salad that is inviting, fresh and vibrant. The sort of salad a certain individual needs on a damp, late winter day when the sky is paper white and the clouds are thick with snow. On a day such as this it is tempting to head straight for comfort food. That leftover Kicked Up Baked Mac 'n Cheese in the fridge. That wedge of Roasted Vegetable Kugel. But what the body craves may- or may not be- what the body needs.

I'm just saying.

I'm no expert on cravings. But I do know that if I make a habit of indulging every gnawing whim and urge that wiggles its way into my sun deprived brain I'd munch Blueberry Crumb Cake for breakfast and eat Horseradish Spiked Red Potato Salad every noon hour from now till the Vernal Equinox (a serotonin-boosting strategy not recommended, by the way, for those of us past a certain age where you can pack on voluptuous pounds faster that you can say blueberry pancakes on a stick).

It also doesn't help that yours truly sports three honkin' titanium screws in the left hip joint, curtailing one's enthusiasm for certain popular aerobic routines. Maybe if I Zumbaed I'd still fit into my summer winter jeans. As of last week there's not a pair of jeans in the house I can riggle into. [And by the way, why do doctors insist on referring to hip screws as pins, embroidering knitting group safe visions of a petite and delicate procedure that in no way involved a couple of workbench sized clamps and a battery operated power drill?]

All I can say is thank goddess for black leggings. Paired with a tunic top they hide a multitude of muffins.

And cake.

Quinoa Spinach Salad
Easy and delicious quinoa spinach salad.

Quinoa + Spinach Salad Recipe with Grape Tomatoes

This naturally gluten-free salad is dairy-free vegan yummalicious. If you enjoy dairy food, a crumble of goat cheese or feta would be fabulous (though, honestly, I didn't miss the cheese). Note: Before cooking quinoa, rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve.


Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

About 1/2 to 2/3 cup cooked quinoa per person

1 generous cup washed organic baby spinach leaves per person

A handful of organic grape tomatoes per person, halved

1 scallion per person, washed, sliced

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Sprinkle of fresh or dried herbs- parsley, thyme, basil, or mint

Tiny sprinkle of nutmeg

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice or rice vinegar


Gently heat a large pan (I used a wok). Pour in some extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic; stir and warm the oil for a minute. 

Add the cooked quinoa and heat through. Add the baby spinach leaves, tomatoes and scallions. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Sprinkle with nutmeg and herbs. Stir to mix. 

Sprinkle with lemon juice and stir. When the spinach begins to wilt remove from heat (I don't like soggy spinach so I cook this very quickly).

Serve in a bowl. 

Dig in. 

Be happy.

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Recipe Notes:

Omnivores- add crumbled cooked bacon for a BLT flavor. Or add chopped hard boiled eggs.
For how to cook quinoa see my post: How To Cook Quinoa- The Super Easy Way.


  1. The images on your Blog are very enticing to start cooking at home more.

    I have never used Quinoa, but it's time I give it a try.

  2. This looks delicious, thanks for the idea. I would probably add the cheese or even some chopped turkey for a family meal. I've used quinoa and think this would make a delicious dish.

  3. I've been thinking about this salad since I read your post yesterday. I have been salivating over the photo. I even looked through all the bunches of spinach at the health food store today, pondering if I should spend $3 on a pathetically small bunch, so I could try and make the recipe based off a photo. If I had known you would post the recipe today, I may have just bought the spinach. I'll have to make a trip to the store tomorrow :) Thanks for the great recipe! I'm so excited for it!

  4. Mmmm yum! I made your cold quinoa and cherry tomato salad not long ago and it was a complete hit! I can't wait to make this one for the family! (and ugh, I hear you on so much as breathing chocolate packing on the pounds :( I want my youthful metabolism back!)

  5. Would that certain age be, oh say, 40? Cuz wow can I pack on the pounds with zero effort!

    Do you do morning quinoa, too? I've been on that kick lately and I really like it. A little vanilla, craisins and pecans turn it into a whole 'nother thing.

  6. What about using amaranth? I bought some last week thinking, "wouldn't it be lovely to add another whole grain variation into my limited diet?" only to realize I have no recipes for it. I suppose I could make pilafs and salads as I do normally with quinoa and rice.

    Any suggestions Goddess?

  7. This salad was delicious! I haven't had much success making tasty quinoa dishes, but this one is awesome. I happened to have all the ingredients, so I whipped it up for lunch today--yum! I wish I had made twice as much....

  8. I made this last night for my family and they really liked it. The taste was just so wonderful! My husband is still getting used to all the different textures, but making all these new foods has opened up a whole new world for us.

    Since my son's only option for hot cereal in the mornings is now oatmeal and he is sick to death of it, I decided to heat up some of the plain leftover Quinoa this morning. I added a little butter, brown sugar, and milk and it tasted really good!

  9. I made quinoa for my daughters' breakfasts today on purpose so I would have some leftover for this salad. Oh. My. Goodness. It was so tasty! I almost omitted the nutmeg, but I'm glad I didn't; it was a surprisingly pleasant addition. My daughters and I are on an elimination diet because they have allergies and I'm being supportive. Your website has been very helpful in easing my 6 year-old's sadness at saying goodbye to wheat and dairy. (It's a lot easier to say no when you're full). Thanks!

  10. Yes, it's that time of year when jeans become a bit tighter and we dream of rich comfort foods. This warm salad looks to be a perfect diversion! Just in the nick of time.

    Thanks, Karina.
    P.S. You're only what you eat if you're able to digest and absorb it, which isn't always the case with celiac disease. I guess we should be happy we're putting our calories to good use.

  11. I just made this today... I had a box of quinoa sitting on my pantry and was picking my brain about what to make. I saw this recipe about 3 days ago and I just had to make it. I'm glad I did! I live in Chicago and today the temp hit a high of -2 (wind chill of -25) and this salad hit home!! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  12. Thanks for the information on quinoa. I had never really heard of it before stumbling on your site the other day. We tried some tonight and I was pleasantly surprised.

  13. Thanks for the recipe. I looks as good as it tastes.

  14. I made this to take to my friend's Christmas open house; she has celiac disease and also cannot eat dairy or any fats or oils... I just added the garlic (3 large cloves) in with the quinoa in my rice cooker... Tossed everything together in a nice serving dish and Voila!... My friend not only appreciated it but said it was delicious! Thanks so much for the fantastic recipes!

  15. Great recipe, loved every bite and I will definitely make it again!

  16. Anonymous17:22

    wow!!!amazing recepie!!!!!!! loved it!!! thanks!

  17. Anonymous17:01

    this looks great, thanks for the recipe..

  18. Re: quinoa for breakfast. We make quinoa flakes w/
    a coconut milk drink, add a little cinnamon & your sweetener of choice. Top with dried apples and pecans. Yum!

  19. Yum! This sounds so good! I'm trying to work my way towards a more plant-based diet. I will definitely bookmark this one and give it a shot!

  20. Looks delicious! I'm happy to find another gluten free blogger :) You made a new follower. Can't wait to check out the rest of your blog.

  21. Looks very good and light on the system. I love fluffy quinoa~! Again, your blog is an inspiration to many!! ~Bella fr/


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Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox