2.05.2013

Healthy Lunching :: A Simple Spinach & Quinoa Salad


This is a super easy lunch to make that honestly could last you all week if you keep the dressing separate until you are ready to eat.  Adding a different side with it each day (like yogurt or a piece of fruit) helps me to break up the monotony of having the same dish five days in a row.

If I don't prepare it ahead of time, lunch is a mess because of how rushed I am in the morning (not a morning person at all). Did I emphasize that enough?  Anyway, I can't eat too heavy at work either or I literally can't keep my eyes open so easy salads like this are key for me to eat a well rounded meal at lunch that is light enough to keep me awake, yet dense enough to get me through my workout when I get home.

As I mentioned, I usually make enough for an entire weeks worth but the recipe below will only yield enough for just one salad.  If you would like to make more, you will need to increase your ingredients and if that confuses you... feel free to email me and I can help you out (happens to me all the time). :)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups of raw spinach
1/4 cup of canned white beans, rinsed (I used cannelloni but you can use navy beans or whatever you have on hand that you like)
1/2 of an avocado
1/2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions:
  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions (1 cup uncooked makes about 4 cups cooked which would give you eight 1/2 cup servings).  You can refrigerate the remaining quinoa or adjust the amount of water you use to only cook enough for the salad. 
  2. Dice half of an avocado (wrap up the other half with a little bit of lemon juice on it to prevent it from browning).
  3. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper for dressing. 
  4. Combine the quinoa, spinach, white beans, and avocado (let the quinoa completely cool before mixing all the ingredients if you are looking for a cold salad, if not, your spinach will wilt a little from the heat). 
  5. Mix in the dressing. 
  6. Enjoy!

**A brief side note on serving sizes and how I came up with the measurements:

1/2 a cup of a cooked grain (like quinoa) equals a serving, so you can use your judgement on how much you want to add to your salad. I make everything separate and then combine portions of each to make an individual salad.

2 cups of raw leafy vegetables (like spinach or lettuce) equal 1 serving of vegetables.

1/4 cup of cooked beans equals a serving of protein.

This dish is a little on the heavier side for healthy fats due to the avocado and olive oil, so I usually just make sure the rest of my day balances it out.

331 calories via myfitnesspal.com

4 comments:

  1. This looks so great! I have the hardest time finding things for lunch. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  2. That looks really good! I've never cooked quinoa before.

    chevrons&anchors.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Visiting from fridays letters. this salad looks great!
    jen
    www.goteambowen.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks delish! Need to add this to my lunch menu :-) Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for leaving me some love!

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