So Fresh and So Green Quinoa Salad

February 5, 2019

Ditch the line at the deli counter and make this simple, colorful, and super flavorful So Fresh and So Green Quinoa Salad at home instead!

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Do you ever just really want a salad?

A couple weeks ago, I hit up the deli counter at the supermarket for some salads.  I took home a small container of a baby spinach and feta quinoa salad that totally rocked my taste buds!  It was fresh, healthy, and packed with flavor!  So I snapped a shot of the label and worked off of the ingredient list to try and make my own version.

My version came pretty close.

This superfood makes a super salad!

Over the past year, quinoa has become a pretty big staple in our home. It’s become the base for many side dishes and salads and taken the place of grains like rice.  Not only is quinoa super healthy for you, but it’s a great foundation for building an awesome salad!  This salad starts with rainbow quinoa.  Rainbow quinoa isn’t much different than regular quinoa.  I just like the extra color and nuttiness to it.  If you like regular quinoa, go with it!

Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled, I mixed in baby spinach, feta cheese, corn, cilantro, green onion, and red bell peppers.  I roasted the bell peppers over the flame on my stove.  If you’re not doing this already, I highly recommend starting. Char the skin, let it cool, then peel it off.  Roasting peppers gives them an amazing flavor!  Finally, this dish gets finished off with a homemade lime and garlic dressing with a slight kick of chili paste!

So Fresh and So Green Quinoa Salad

So Fresh and So Green Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup rainbow quinoa, cooked according to package
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted and diced
  • 1 - 8.5 oz can sweet corn, drained
  • Approx. 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 tbsp. mild chili paste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, bell peppers, corn, spinach leaves, feta, green onions, and cilantro together.
  2. Add the vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and chili paste to a mason jar. Screw on the lid and give the jar a good shake until all of the ingredients are combined.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to coat evenly.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
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I was having trouble finding a name for this recipe. The store simply calls it “Baby Spinach and Feta Quinoa Salad,” but it’s so much more than that! Thankfully, Outkast’s “So Fresh and So Clean” got stuck in my head and inspired the new name for this recipe. This salad is seriously “so fresh and so green!” So there you go!

I can’t describe how good this salad is to you. You just have to trust me on this and make a batch for yourself. It’s packed with flavor and all sorts of ingredients. It’s not too spicy, but if you’re not a fan of spicy foods just cut out the chili paste or drop it (like it’s hot) down to a teaspoon, or even half a teaspoon, and work from there.

This version is so much cheaper than the supermarket’s and probably a tad fresher than the deli case (I mean, let’s not go there, but I’ll just leave you with that).  It’s a colorful feast for your eyes and a super healthy side dish!

What’s your favorite quinoa salad recipe?

 

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8 Comments

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  • Reply Ingrid July 11, 2021 at 1:19 PM

    Is there anything that can be substituted for chilli paste? I can’t find this anywhere. thanks

    • Reply Jessica July 11, 2021 at 4:32 PM

      Hi Ingrid! You could omit it altogether if you can’t find it. Or you could use just a pinch of Sriracha or a pinch of red chili flakes.

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