Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Parsley and Spring Onions

Quinoa Salad from Salad as a Meal

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever cooked quinoa. No one? Okay, raise your hand if you’ve ever eaten quinoa. Hmmm. Well then, raise your hand if you’ve ever even heard of quinoa before. Finally!Quinoa (say “KEEN-wah”) is one of those “supergrains” that you should be eating. Let’s learn more about quinoa (by reading the back of the box):

  • Quinoa is a great source of protein.
  • Quinoa provides all of the essential amino acids.
  • Quinoa is not a wheat-based product and contains no gluten.
  • Quinoa is easy to digest and is less filling than other whole grains.
  • Quinoa is quick and easy to prepare.

Sounds great, huh? Now, I really want to like quinoa. I’ve tried making dishes such as quinoa pilaf in the past. It was okay, but nothing special. I never could get the seasonings quite right. It was never bad, it just always left me with the feeling of “so what?”

Patricia Wells’ Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Parsley and Spring Onions from her Salad as a Meal cookbook changed all of that. Her quinoa is cooked in chicken or vegetable stock with bay leaves and sea salt. Then you essentially make a parsley pesto and add it to the cooked quinoa. Throw it in the refrigerator for up to eight hours and, at serving time, combine it with spinach and Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing. Finally, a quinoa recipe with flavor!

You may notice that the photo above does not contain spinach. I took this shot once the quinoa and parsley mixture was ready for the refrigerator. I took more photos after I dressed the spinach leaves and combined everything. Unfortunately, my Compact Flash card was not in my camera at the time! (I blame the dog.) The pictures of the finished dish would have been spectacular.

I’ve provided nutritional information for Patricia’s recipe below although I don’t have permission to publish the recipe itself. I just wanted you to have a sense of how a salad like this might fit into your meal plan. The salad is low in Cholesterol and Saturated Fat and is a great source of Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese. To reduce the Sodium in the salad, make your own chicken stock (without salt) and skip the salt when cooking the quinoa. I’ll tell you how to reduce the fat content of the dressing next week when I post the recipe.

All nutritional information provided here was calculated by Diabetic Foodie using the tools on the nutritiondata.com website.

Makes 4 servings (salad)
Per serving: 350 calories, 10g fat (2g sat), 5mg cholesterol, 883mg sodium, 51g carb, 6g fiber, 3g sugar, 15g protein

Makes 10 servings (dressing)
Per serving (2 Tbsp): 33 calories, 3g fat (2g sat), 9mg cholesterol, 126mg sodium, 1g carb, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 1g protein

Disclosure: For my participation in the Four Weeks of Salad as a Meal Challenge, I received a copy of Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells plus two copies to give away. This post contains at least one affiliate link, which means if you click it and make a purchase, I will receive a tiny fee. Please see my disclosures page for more information.


  1. diabeticFoodie says

    Feel free to share other flavorful quinoa recipes! Would love to have more in my arsenal.

  2. says

    I liked this one too! Thanks for publishing the nutritional information. Always good to know. That really is a lot of protein.
    How did you feel about this salad as a complete meal? When I made it, I ended up eating hard cooked eggs in addition, because I felt myself missing protein (despite the super high protein content of the quinoa).

  3. diabeticFoodie says

    Kate – we ate it more as a side dish, too. I had leftovers (half serving) as an afternoon snack.

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