Salmon and Spinach Quinoa Salad

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 Last week I was fully intending on making Vietnamese curry because I was having a mad craving for it, but then the weather forecast said that it was going to be in the low-90s and I decided curry would be a bad choice.  So a quinoa salad happened instead!

I’ve never made quinoa salad before, but it seems simple enough, right?  Throw in some quinoa, some onions, some vegetables, and some dressing–easy!  I went with spinach and tomatoes because I felt frugal and didn’t want to go nuts with more veggies, then I decided to add salmon because I had some in my freezer that needed to be eaten.  I also had a ton of lemons in the fridge from our game night party a couple weeks ago (my friend brought tequila and thought the lemons would taste like limes if they were green enough.  Debatable…), so I wanted to use them to marinate the salmon and make a super simple vinaigrette.  Lo and behold, a really easy quinoa salad!

Give the recipe a try, especially as we’re getting closer to summer.  It’s super simple to make, easy on the wallet, and it’s so good! 🙂

Salmon and Spinach Quinoa Salad
(serves 4)

1 or 2 salmon filets
1/2 lemon
pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry quinoa
1 clove garlic, smashed
6 cups of baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup of tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Thinly slice lemon crosswise into circles.  In a small container or ziploc bag, season salmon with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and place two lemon slices on each side of filet.  Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Cook quinoa with chicken broth and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper using a rice cooker or on the stove.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, prepare spinach and onion then put them in a large bowl.  When quinoa is done, add it to the bowl and mix until combined.  The heat from the quinoa will wilt the spinach and slightly cook the onion.
  4. Remove salmon from refrigerator and dispose of lemon slices.  Grill salmon on both sides for 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness.  Set aside to cool then shred into bite-sized pieces.  Add to quinoa.
  5. Whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil until emulsified.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Add tomatoes to the quinoa and pour half of the lemon dressing.  Combine thoroughly and add more dressing as desired.
  7. Serve warm or chill it in the refrigerator before serving.

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