Fresh Quinoa Avocado Spinach Salad

Sunday night I went to a marriage mentor group and it was requested that I bring a salad! I do love a fancy salad! Getting creative and figuring out how to make a new dressing, using fun ingredients and pumping up the taste and flavors… the BEST!

This one I found the original recipe on a website about the Mediterranean Diet and altered the salad adding a bit more flavor to it and hit the JACKPOT! It was delicious! The only thing I’d change is that I would have made it a bit more dry than I did. I added WAY more olive oil and lemon juice than they did originally… and I’d go half-way between the two… So the recipe below is exactly halfway between what I made, and the original recipe (on the amount of olive oil and lemon juice)

This one can be filling as a main dish for lunch, or an awesome side dish for a grilled hamburger night, or brats or pizza!

Make this one tonight! 🙂

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Fresh Quinoa Avocado Spinach Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa, rinsed and drained*
1 cup water
1 vine-on medium tomato – seeded and chopped
1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach – chopped or torn into large pieces
1/3 cup diced FRESH basil
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow sweet (1 small)
1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice (and the zest of 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
 1 ripe avocado sliced and diced (pit removed of course!)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 of a English Hothouse cucumber sliced and quartered

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*Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove a bitter substance called saponin that coats the seeds.

Directions

  1. In a 1-1/2-quart saucepan combine quinoa and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. (OR, as I did, use your Rice Cooker… EASY!)
  2. Transfer quinoa to a medium Mixing Bowl. Add tomato, spinach, basil, cucumber, and onion; stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic powder, oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Add the diced avocado and gently toss.
  3. Sprinkle with some of the feta. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

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Fresh AND filling!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Southwestern Chicken Salad with an Avocado Parsley Dressing

When you come home after a long day at work and it’s hot outside… the weather is nice, sun is shining… don’t you just crave a salad? Nice, cool, crisp? Add a bit of chicken and just enough spice to make the dressing’s coolness almost a relief?

This is the salad for you! I seriously craved this dressing after I had it the first time. I made ANOTHER salad for lunch the next day JUST so I could use the rest of the dressing. It was THAT amazing!

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This is for 3-4 salads, depending on size of salad… is it your main course, or a side?

Ingredients

Salad:

Large head of Dark Green Romaine
1 15 oz. can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
3 mini sweet peppers chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium vine-on tomato cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Chopped scallions (Green Onions) – if so desired
1/2 Avocado diced
2 chicken tenderloins cooked (I cooked w/a bit of cumin and chili powder and olive oil) and sliced PER SALAD)
1 cup (more or less) corn. I used thawed frozen corn… you can use fresh or canned as well
1/2 can diced Natural Black Ripe Olives
Drizzle of salsa

For the dressing:

1 cup loosely packed FRESH parsley, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/2 tsp Chopped Garlic in Pure Olive Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. White Balsamc Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 TB fresh local Honey

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Directions
Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender (I used my Nutribullet) until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Finely chop romaine, sautee your chicken until cooked through and white all the way through, chop the sweet peppers, tomatoes, and green onions, avocado, black olives…
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Toss with desired dressing. I did find that the salad was best when I drizzled the salad with the dressing, and then tossed to coat thoroughly!

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You will NOT regret making this salad!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Community Post: 13 Incredibly Awesome Amy Poehler Quotes

Mixed Greens Chicken Avocado Salad with Lemon Poppy-seed Dressing

Mondays…. I made this salad last night. You know the movie “Office Space”?

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I seriously LOVE that movie. I really do. I’ve seen it quite a few times, and it’s still funny every time!

I was thinking about that quote yesterday. The day seemed endless. In South Carolina, there is a yellow haze of pollen floating through the air, and coating my throat and lungs causing swelling and coughing and overall miserable feelings in our house. What is the need for this much pollen? I mean, you look outside and you can SEE THE BREEZE. I’m not joking. We have enough pine trees. The pollen needs to dial it back a bit.

I know this rant will do nothing. But I felt the need to whine. And then I had a glass of wine. HA!

Anyways… back to my salad. My husband said that he was craving his chinese food leftovers last night and wanted to eat that, and was going to be coming home late. I, however, was NOT craving that. So… I looked at my meal plan and decided on a yummy and filling salad!

This one is seriously soo good! I did have popcorn later that evening as a nighttime snack, but this one was filling, sweet yet tangy, and really fresh. You have your crunch, chewy, sweet, tart… everything!

Try this one out for sure!

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Ingredients

Dressing
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup canola oil (or any light oil)
    • 2 tsp lemon zest
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard, OR dijon mustard
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • dash of fresh ground pepper
    • 2 tsp poppy seeds (or more if you desire)
  • Mix it in a 2 cup measuring cup with a whisk, or you can mix it in a Salad Dressing Mixer.

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Salad
  • 4-6 chicken tenderloins cooked (or leftover grilled chicken on a Cast Iron Pan) thru and sliced. (I cooked mine in the skillet with a bit of olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper. The more basic the chicken, the better. You’re gonna have the flavor in the salad and the dressing)
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 5 oz. Artisan salad mix (or spring greens)
  • 1 avocado, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 sliced and halved cucumber (I prefer English or “hothouse” cucumbers)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Optional: You can add some almonds or pecans as well if you’d like!!!

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ENJOY!!!!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

one of my all time favorite quotes

Quick Shrimp and Avocado Salad

I needed a quick dinner… something using fresh foods, and low in carbs. Something yummy but also filling, and this salad definitely did the trick! I LOVED it! The natural fats in the avocado and the high protein in the shrimp were exactly what I needed! So fresh and yummy! If you want a nice salad to go with dinner, a quick lunch with leftover shrimp, or even something to put on a hoagie roll, this is it! Try this salad out!

This is for the dressing and the salad.
Also… I usually use this cute little wish when I’m making salad dressing:

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Cute huh? It fits easily into bowls and measuring cups, or whatever I need to fit it into to mix something. Perfect size for little jobs. 🙂

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INGREDIENTS

1 lb. Baked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 avocado, cut into large pieces
1/2 sweet onion chopped
1/2 cup sweet white corn (thawed frozen or fresh)
1/2 to 1 English cucumber sliced and quartered
Optional handful of grape tomatoes

For the Dressing

ÂĽ cup extra virgin olive oil
ÂĽ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Dash white balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
Dash hot sauce

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INSTRUCTIONS

Bake shrimp for 12 min at 350 with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Remove, set aside. After cooled (10 min), either leave whole, or chop into bite size pieces.
Add shrimp, avocado, and onion, corn, cucumber and tomatoes to a large bowl.
In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together ingredients for the dressing. Whisk until well-combined.
Add dressing to shrimp avocado salad until it has the amount you desire. Top with a bit of parmesan cheese if you’d like!
Serve additional dressing on the side. I put leftover dressings in washed glass jelly jars and save it for up to a week in the fridge.
And now, for the quote of the day:

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Summer Fruit Salad with a Honey, Lime, Cilantro Dressing!

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Salad Ingredients:

-1 Avocado sliced and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
-about 15-20 strawberries washed and sliced
-3/4 of a pint of blueberries washed and tossed into bowl
-handfull of spinach chopped roughly

 

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil (or other light oil)
  • 2 large TB. honey
  • juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • dash of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • about 1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash or similar

Whir in a magic bullet, food processor or blender for about 10 seconds

Pour dressing over salad and toss. ENJOY!!!!!

 

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