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Spring Quinoa Salad

This fresh Spring Quinoa Salad is easy to make, packed with healthy ingredients, and dressed with a zippy lemon vinaigrette. Serve it alongside some grilled steak (with a two-ingredient rub!) for a protein-packed and filling meal.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword spring quinoa salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 775kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas sliced
  • 1/2 ounce goat's cheese (or feta cheese)
  • 1/2 cup honey-roasted sliced almonds (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil

Optional Steak Addition

  • 1 pound boneless steak recommended: New York Strip(two, 8-ounce steaks)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

Dressing

  • 2 large lemons (6 tablespoons juice and 3 teaspoons zest)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup good quality olive oil

Instructions

  • SALAD: Combine the diced red onion, red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon sea salt in a small bowl. Set aside and stir occasionally. Cook the quinoa according to package directions and allow it to cool completely. (Refrigerate to hurry it along if needed). Slice the sugar snap peas, chop the fresh basil, and set aside.
  • DRESSING: Combine all of the ingredients together - except for the oil - in a food processor or blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, but add to your preference.) Blend until all ingredients are well incorporated and zest has been broken down. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream and pulse until just combined and emulsified. Avoid blending the oil in for an extended period of time as it can make the oil taste metallic. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • STEAK: In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, coriander, and 1 teaspoon EACH of salt and pepper. Sprinkle this mixture evenly on all sides of the steaks. Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan to high heat (or a large skillet to medium-high heat). Rub an oil-drenched paper towel over grill grates or ridges in the grill pan. (Alternatively, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet.) Place steak on grill or pan (it should sizzle when it hits the pan) and cook 3-5 minutes per side, flipping the steak only once, or until a thermometer (inserted in the thickest part of the steak) registers 130 degrees F (for medium rare). Remove from heat and lightly cover with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • ASSEMBLY: While the steak rests, assemble the salad. In a large bowl, add the cooled quinoa, sliced peas, goat's cheese, red onion mixture (add it all in, even remaining juices), and basil. Add in dressing to taste; (You may not use all the dressing -- add to personal preference-- I like a lot of dressing!) gently toss the salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the almonds on top and serve with sliced steak on the side (cut against the grain). 

Notes

Note 1: I like buying honey roasted almonds (they're so quick and easy), but if you prefer, check out the post for how to toast or candy almonds.

Nutrition

Calories: 775kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 803mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 478IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 6mg