This Spinach Quinoa Salad with cashews, orange, water chestnuts and pomegranate seeds is so pretty and tasty, it’ll have no trouble finding a spot on your Christmas menu. But really, don’t go saving it just for the occasion: it’s just as spectacular any other day of the year!
You know how I love me a good salad, right? In fact, salads are something that I tend to eat with practically every meal, regardless of the season… or the occasion, for that matter!
Even on Christmas, I like to have some kind of salad on the table. Of course, I like to dress it up for the occasion, though! Like this beauty, right here, for instance. It looks so pretty with all its jewel-like colors, its beautiful reds and vibrant greens, I’m sure you’d have no problem fitting it into your Christmas menu, even if your guests or family members weren’t really into eating “rabbit food” on the big day.
You can make this one a few hours ahead of time, and it comes together in mere minutes, really, providing that you have leftover quinoa in your fridge. If you don’t, simply take a few minutes the previous day to cook a cup of dry quinoa and then leave that in the fridge to cool until the next day.
When you are ready to make your salad, start by combining the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
- 3 cups of cooked quinoa
- 2 oranges, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 can of sliced water chestnuts drained
- 1/2 cup of dry roasted cashews
- The seeds from half a pomegranate
Then, in a small glass container or measuring cup, combine the following:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Mix vigorously with a whisk, until well combined and slightly emulsified.
Now pour that lovely vinaigrette all over the salad, toss gently to combine and there you have it!
Technically, your salad is now ready to be served, but if time permits, place it in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow all those delicious flavors to meld and fully develop.
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two, although some wilting is to be expected. If you plan on serving this to guests, I strongly suggest that you make it the day of…
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Spinach Quinoa Salad
- 3 cups leftover cooked quinoa* cooled
- 2 oranges peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts drained
- 1/2 cup dry roasted cashews
- The seeds from half a pomegranate
For the vinaigrette
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, orange chunks, spinach leaves, sliced water chestnuts, roasted cashews and seeds from half a pomegranate.
- In a small container or measuring cup, combine the evoo, acv, Dijon mustard, honey, minced garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper and mix vigorously with a whisk, until well combined and slightly emulsified.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to combine.
- Serve immediately or, if time permits, place your salad in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow all the delicious flavors to meld and fully develop.
- Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days.
*Or cook 1 cup of dry quinoa according to directions on package and let cool completely.