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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Quinoa

5 from 2 votes

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This strawberry spinach salad with quinoa can be eaten as a side salad or a makes a nutritious, complete, high protein meal. Add some sliced almonds and thinly sliced red onions for flavor and texture, and serve with a crusty roll for a delicious salad that makes a meal! strawberry spinach salad in white bowl with red check napkin in background and dinner roll at side of bowl

Spinach salad has always been a favorite of mine. Adding in the fresh strawberries gives this salad a special summertime feel – no matter what season you are in.

To make Strawberry Spinach Salad, You Will Need:

ingredients for strawberry spinach salad including baby spinach, red onions, sliced almonds, strawberries, and cooked quinoa.

If this is a complete meal, where is the protein? 

This salad gets its protein from the almonds and the seasoned quinoa. Quinoa is a powerhouse ancient grain that has a lot of health benefits including protein, fiber, and other important minerals, and vitamins. Read more about the benefits of quinoa in this informative article by Healthline.com.

How do I Prepare the Quinoa?

So I make it easy on myself with this recipe and use already prepared (pre-cooked) quinoa. I can buy it in the grocery store in the produce section (presumably more fresh) or in the beans and rice section along with the pre-cooked rice. Quinoa tends to have a very bland taste though, so I season mine with Better Than Bouillon paste. I use the vegetable base flavor. There is also a vegan chicken flavor as well as a vegan beef flavor if you choose. (Do be careful though if you are vegan because there are also non-vegan versions of the chicken and beef flavors.)

cooked quinoa in white bowl with vegetable seasoning in spoon
Add in a little Better Than Bouillon paste for added flavor.

What if I can’t find the bouillon paste?

No problem! A tablespoon of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or even low sodium soy sauce should do the trick. You are just looking for something to add a little umami flavor to the quinoa.

Can I make my own quinoa?

Of course! If you are a purist or just have extra dried quinoa hanging about in the back of your cupboard and you’ve been looking for the perfect reason to use it, go for it! Just keep these things in mind:

  • You will need 1/2 cup dried quinoa to make 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa.
  • Rinse the quinoa before cooking. This is a step I used to skip. I found I enjoyed the quinoa better when I rinsed first.
  • You can sub in vegetable broth for the water if you want to give the quinoa a little flavor.

Pin now to save for later:strawberry spinach salad with text overlay

Slicing the Onions and Strawberries

Slice the red onions very thinly and then cut in half. This is my personal preference. I don’t like a chunky onion in my salad, but more of a delicate strip to just add in a little flavor and texture.

sliced red onions
Slice your red onion very thinly for a delicate taste and texture.

Can I sub in other onions?

Honestly, red onions taste better than white or yellow onions in a spinach salad. You can sub in a shallot though as it has a similar flavor to a red onion.

Should I quarter or slice the strawberries?

Potato potaaato….tomato tomaaato…

This is a personal preference. I personally like my strawberries quartered for this salad. quartered strawberries on wooden cutting board

Finishing the Salad:

  • I use a 5-ounce container of baby spinach. It comes pre-washed. I know some people like to pre-wash their prewashed salad greens. If you do, please make sure to dry them thoroughly. Lay on a paper towel and gently pat dry, or put in a salad spinner (affiliate link). This salad, in particular, does not do well if soggy.

Put all the ingredients on top of the spinach and give it a gentle toss. prepared ingredients for strawberry spinach salad in bowl ready to be tossed - including sliced red onions, cooked quinoa, quartered strawberries, sliced almonds, and baby spinach

Does this Salad Work for Meal Prep? 

It absolutely does work well for meal prep! I potion my salad in four containers without the dressing. I have little containers for the dressing too. They come in so handy when I am taking my meal prepped items to work. I’ve used these little containers for salad dressing, salsa, or peanut butter (for my apple.)  This salad should last about 3 days in the refrigerator.

Strawberry spinach salad in four round meal prep containers with dressing in containers on the side.
This salad is perfect for meal prep too! Just wait to add the dressing till right before eating.

Here are some (affiliate) links to the meal prep containers I use. The black round containers are reusable.

  

Want to take this salad to a whole new level?

Slice some vegan chicken and lay it on top!

strawberry spinach salad with sliced coated vegan chicken on top.
Slice some breaded vegan chicken patties on top for a complete meal

I have used Gardien brand which is very tasty! Pictured here is my personal favorite: sliced Morning Star Original Breaded Chik Patty. Most of the Morning Star products, like the “chik patty” posted, are vegan. Do make sure you read the ingredient list though, as some of the Morning Star products still contain egg. It is my understanding that they are working to move away from this and going completely vegan. 

 

package of morning star farms chick patties help in hand
Morning star Chik Patties make this salad a complete meal.

The Recipe For Strawberry Spinach Salad with Quinoa:

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strawberry spinach salad in white bowl with red check napkin in background and dinner roll at side of bowl

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Quinoa

Quick and easy and full of flavor, this strawberry spinach salad is a complete higher protein meal with added quinoa and almonds.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: strawberry spinach salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 270kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • cup cooked quinoa see notes
  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Paste see notes
  • 16 ounces strawberries washed, cored, and quartered
  • 1/2 small red onion sliced thinly
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2/3 cup almonds sliced
  • dressing of choice not added in nutritional information
  • Optional - sliced vegan chicken

Instructions

  • If you need to prepare the quinoa, prepare according to package directions for 1 1/2 cups cooked. I sub in vegetable broth for the water to give it extra flavor.
  • Add in 1 teaspoon of Better than Bouillon vegetable paste. to the prepared quinoa. If you do not have the bouillon paste, then sub in 2 T of liquid aminos or low low sodium soy sauce. Set aside.
  • Wash and cut the strawberries. I like to cut into quarters. Slice if that is your preference. Set aside.
  • Slice 1/2 red onion thinly. I like to slice thinly and then cut the thin slices in half.
  • Add the baby spinach, prepared quinoa, cut strawberries, sliced onions, and sliced almonds to a medium-large bowl. Toss gently.
  • Drizzle your choice of dressing on top.
  • Optional - add sliced cooked vegan chicken to the top of the salad.

Notes

If you choose to cook your quinoa rather than purchase pre-cooked quinoa, follow the package directions for 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa. You will start with 1/2 cup. Rinse well before cooking. I sub in vegetable broth for the water.
I season my prepared quinoa with bouillon paste. If you do not have this, use up to 1 Tablespoon of liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce. Start with 1 teaspoon and then add more to taste. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 679mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3337IU | Vitamin C: 78mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 3mg
By on January 11th, 2020

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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