Spinach Salad With Quinoa & Cranberries

  

September 27, 2017

This is an amazing salad. What makes a salad amazing? First, delicious ready-to-go ingredients that go well together; second, ingredients that are actually healthy; and lastly and most importantly, ingredients that are satisfying and filling and can be eaten without guilt! Extra lastly, this particular amazing salad gets topped off with a killer homemade Creamy Orange Hemp Seed Dressing.

Why make your own dressing when there is an ENTIRE wall of salad dressings at your grocery store? You’d think that giant wall would answer any need you’d have. You’d think that variety would make it easy to pick out a dressing that is tasty, healthy, and that you don’t get bored with. HA!

Is it that your taste buds are smart enough to know your body shouldn’t be consuming the same oily, vinegary, syrupy dressing all the time? Nope. Taste buds don’t have brains! Store bought dressing is just not as tasty as the ones you can make yourself. That these store bought dressings are not as healthy as the ones you make at home is no surprise. That these store bought dressings are not as delicious as your homemade ones, that’s a surprise.

Ingredients

Salad

2-3 cups packed baby spinach

1/4 cup cooked quinoa (see my post here on how to cook quinoa)

1/3 cup cooked chickpeas (I used Eden Organics)

2 strips of cooked tempeh (I used Sesame Garlic Marinated Tempeh) or smoked tofu (optional)

1/4 cup shredded carrot (store bought is fine)

1 tbsp dried cranberries (I used apple juice sweetened ones)

small handful of micro greens or sprouts

Creamy Orange Hemp Heart Dressing

1/3 cup fresh orange juice from 1 medium orange (use sweet oranges)

1 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 tbsp hemp hearts/seeds (sub sesame or tahini if you can’t find)

1 tsp fresh ginger

2 small dates pitted and chopped (soaked if you don’t have a Vitamix)

1/8 tsp Herbamare or salt

Directions

Salad

1Arrange salad ingredients into a large bowl and garnish with micro greens or sprouts as desired. Top with dressing.

Creamy Orange Hemp Heart Dressing

1Place all ingredients in Vitamix or blender and blend until smooth. Taste test and add more ginger, vinegar or salt if desired. Blend again.

2Yields 1/2 cup of dressing. Best used within 3 days due to the nature of raw ingredients.

You can add a plethora of other ingredients into your protein packed spinach salad such as tomatoes, cucumbers, apple slices, other dried fruits, etc. What really makes this salad filling is the addition of quinoa and chickpeas, so it’s also a great salad to take to work without needing a giant salad container.

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