Simple Lunch: Spinach & Quinoa Salad

 

 

I love having a bunch of random ingredients that I need to use up. Those are the moments that usually lead me to my best creations, and today is one of those days! After rifling through my fridge trying to find inspiration for lunch, I pulled out green peppers, fennel, and spinach that need to be used. Alright, I’ll make a salad. There’s definitely not enough spinach though.  Hmmm. Oh, quinoa! I love the addition of grains to a salad, so I set to work on my quinoa salad. 

This dish is super simple and fast. It’s also perfect for meal prepping. Whip it up on a Sunday night, and if you’re looking for a little more oomph, add chicken or avocados. Or corn, or mushrooms, or…or…oh, the options! They are endless, but here’s what’s in my bowl:

 

 

 

Ingredients
Spinach
Quinoa – mine was rosemary + olive flavored
1/2 fennel bulb
1 green pepper
2 roma tomatoes
Artichoke hearts 
Green onion
Dijon mustard
Lemon juice
Lime juice
Hot sauce
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Follow the instructions on your box of quinoa and start that cooking before you do anything.

Roma tomatoes are super firm which makes them really easy to dice. I much prefer using these in salads compared to other types. Start by roughly but finely chopping erry’thang and throw it all in a bowl. I only had about four artichoke hearts left in my jar, so next time I’ll definitely be adding more. Growing up, I really didn’t like the taste of them but now I loveeee them (I hope my mom is happy!) and I’m searching for ways to use them. Share your favorite ways with me!

In my attempts to eat healthier, I’m avoiding salad dressing. Instead, olive oil, lemon juice, and lime juice will do the trick. However, I wanted it to be more interesting. For some reason I had a taste for a little heat and spice, so I added squeezes of Dijon mustard, a splash of hot sauce, and red pepper flakes. When I say squeezes of Dijon mustard, I mean teeeny tiny little ones. I actually kind of hate Dijon mustard, but I use it a lot because just a touch can really bring some flavors to another level. Add a few splashes of juice from the artichoke hearts jar as well.

That’s it! Like I mentioned earlier, there is so much you can add to this. That’s why salads really are fantastic; just throw some seemingly bland vegetables together and next thing you know you have a really flavorful bowl staring you down. 

Now it’s your turn. What would you add?

 

 

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