shredded broccoli and spinach quinoa salad (+ news!)
It has been a while, dear readers, and although I’ve missed you tons I promise that I have a great excuse for my recent absence from the blog. I’ve taken a bit of a break from cooking and writing because I’ve been busy growing something else….a little life inside of my belly, our first baby! I couldn’t be more excited to share the news with you. I have been bursting with happiness, excitement, and most of all, love.
I’m so grateful that everything has been going well and even those few days that morning sickness tried to get the best of me, I never felt happier to feel as tired and nauseated in my entire life. Luckily the queasiness didn’t last very long and only hit me past 5pm so I could easily get through the day, but I must admit that it did impact my cooking for a couple of weeks where the last thing I wanted to do was prepare dinner when all I wanted to do was shower and go straight to sleep…which goes to explain why the blog has been so quiet lately.
Now that I’ve been nausea-free for weeks and am in my second trimester, I have fallen back in love with cooking all over again. My diet has remained pretty much the same, as I’ve always focused on eating healthy nourishing meals (while letting myself indulge in my favorite desserts from time to time).
Given that protein is such an important part of a healthy pregnancy diet, I’ve been finding ways to incorporate more and more protein-based foods in my daily diet. Chicken and meat are great protein sources, but there are also plenty of plant-based protein options, such as quinoa, which has become one of my favorite salad ingredients lately.
This shredded broccoli and spinach quinoa salad was born after I incorporated all the remaining vegetables I had in my fridge over the weekend. It is loaded with broccoli, fresh spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, green onion and walnuts and is dressed up in a mustard-lemon dressing. This salad is both pregnancy-friendly and so delicious, making it the perfect lunch — keeping both mommy-to-be and baby healthy and happy!
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- ¾ cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 small broccoli head, cut into florets
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- 3 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly torn
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon mustard
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse the quinoa and bring it to a boil in a pot with 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt. Cover the pot, lower heat to low and let the quinoa simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Set aside in a bowl to cool completely.
- In a food processor, shred the broccoli florets. Add the shredded broccoli to the quinoa with the walnuts, spinach leaves, green onion and cherry tomatoes.
- In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard and olive oil. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
- Adjust seasoning if needed and serve at room temperature.