Spinach Quinoa Salad With Avocado Cilantro Dressing
Lately, I’ve been all about superfood salads and this spinach quinoa salad with avocado cilantro dressing is one of my newest creations that I’ve been making and eating regularly. If you are new to using quinoa, you must make the switch! In the past, I would make orzo spinach salads, and while I love my orzo, the nutrient richness of quinoa leads me to use this superfood instead.
Quinoa is a whole grain, it’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and high in protein, and high in fiber, and antioxidants. Pair this with spinach – a nutritious leafy green vegetable high in vitamin C, folic acid and iron, and this simple salad is a nutritional powerhouse! I love to add colors to my salads by using fresh bell peppers, green onions, cucumbers, avocados, garbanzo beans and colorful cherry tomatoes. It’s the perfect way to use up the last of my tomatoes from the garden for sure.
Let’s talk about the dressing for the salad – back in May, I sampled the new organicgirl fresh designer dressings and instantly fell in love with the new organic dressings, especially the lemon agave and the avocado cilantro flavors. I’ll be honest, I’m not typically a cilantro fan, but the avocado cilantro dressing won me over because it does not taste like cilantro at all. The organic girl Avocado Cilantro Vinaigrette has a blend of avocado, fresh cilantro, a splash of lime and a kick of real jalapeno. This dressing is creamy, smooth, spicy and perfectly balanced. It’s got a fresh and zesty avocado lime flavor, which perfectly complements my spinach quinoa salad.
To make the salad, first you need to prepare the quinoa by boiling the quinoa for 20 minutes and then letting it cool. I used a tri-color quinoa which has red, white and black quinoa which has a mild nutty flavor and slight crunch. While the quinoa is cooking, you can quickly chop and assemble the remaining salad ingredients. Roughly chop the spinach, dice the green onions, halve the cherry tomatoes, rinse the garbanzo beans and slice the olives.
This is really a Greek-inspired spinach quinoa salad because those Mediterranean ingredients are my favorite flavors to incorporate into my meals. While you may not think of greek style spinach salad with avocados and cilantro – you have to trust me that it totally works and is absolutely delicious! You can even top with grilled chicken or salmon for extra protein.
- 1 cup of Quinoa
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups fresh organicgirl baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 English cucumber quartered and chopped
- 1 bunch green onions chopped (4-5 green onions)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup Kalamata olives halved
- 1 avocado chopped
- 5 tablespoons organicgirl Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
- While quinoa is cooking, drain and rinse the garbanzo beans, chop spinach, tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, dill, green onions and olives and place all the chopped veggies and beans in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Once quinoa is cooked, remove lid to cool before adding to the salad. Once cooled (about 15 minutes), add the quinoa to the salad.
- Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and stir to incorporate.
This is a sponsored post by organicgirl in an effort to raise awareness of their awesome new organic salad blends and dressings available at Safeway. As always my opinions, photographs and recipes are my own. We appreciate and encourage you to support the brands that make this site possible.
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