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A cheerful salad for any time of year, but I love the red sun-dried tomatoes against the bright green, fresh baby spinach for a healthy holiday time dish.

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If you like and have walnuts please toss some in. I ran out and had to use toasted, sliced almonds which were great, but I made this salad for a dinner party a few weeks ago and the combination of toasted walnuts and crunchy turkey bacon was out of this world. It got wild reviews and I’ve made it a couple times since then. Sun-dried tomatoes are a beautiful ingredient. My husband jokes the intoxicating element makes any recipe better, they’re like bacon, you can put them in anything and he’ll eat it.

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Easily made ahead side, store in fridge and top with bacon, cheese and nuts before serving. I served this salad at the dinner party I mentioned alongside Lemon-Herb Roast Chicken (made without potatoes and carrots in crock pot), Roasted Garlic Broccoli and for dessert Easy Berry Crisp (but substituted chopped apples with a little applesauce for berries). Delicious!

My current go-to weeknight and entertaining salad. Gluten and dairy free options below.

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SUN-DRIED TOMATO QUINOA SPINACH SALAD
serves 8-10
gluten & dairy free option

• 1 small ONION, chopped
• 3 cloves GARLIC, minced
• 3 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN (divided)
• JUICE OF 1/2 LEMON
• 3/4 tsp ITALIAN SEASONING, DRIED
• SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
• 1 cup QUINOA, rinsed, drained
• 1/2 cup WHITE WINE (or extra broth)
• 1 1/4 cup VEGETABLE or CHICKEN BROTH, low sodium*
• 3.5 oz SUN DRIED TOMATOES, chopped
• 4 oz FRESH BABY SPINACH
• 1/4 cup WALNUTS or ALMONDS, chopped
• 8 slices LEAN TURKEY BACON, cooked, crumbled*
• 1/4 cup FRESH PARMESAN CHEESE, shredded**

*Gluten Free Option: Use GF turkey bacon and vegetable broth.
**Dairy Free Option: Omit Parmesan cheese
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1. In a large skillet (use one with a lid) sauté onion in 1 T. olive oil with garlic, sea salt and pepper for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat until softened, pour 1/2 cup white wine into pan (I used Chardonnay but any dry white will do or broth). De-glaze pan with onions until wine is reduced. Add quinoa and toast with onions and wine, stirring frequently, until completely absorbed (about 2-3 minutes).

2. Add 1 1/4 cups broth to skillet; stir, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

3. While quinoa cooks combine sun dried tomatoes, remaining 2 T. olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning and spinach in a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa (while still warm), toss to coat. If serving cold refrigerate until ready to serve, skip to step 4 if serving warm.

4. Top salad with cooked and crumbled turkey bacon, toasted walnuts and Parmesan cheese before serving. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Serving size, about 2/3 cup.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 180 calories, 10g fat, 2g sat fat, 15mg cholesterol, 18g carb, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 6g protein

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

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