Quinoa Spinach Salad

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Happy 4th of July everyone!  I hope you’re having a nice day celebrating.  I’m currently enjoying a little down time before the fireworks while Cia takes her afternoon nap.  We enjoyed a family day outside including a walk along the creek path and a picnic outside.  Boulder weather is hot today and I have found it key to stay near the water to prevent from overheating.  There’s a nice stretch of the creek path that has plenty of shade which I frequent often these days.  I can walk over 3 miles which gets my heart rate up allowing me to break a sweat but not turn beet red.  This is perfect as I’m entering my third trimester.  I can’t believe I’m heading into the home stretch!  Cia keeps me plenty busy during the day and I find myself not thinking too much about being pregnant as I did with my first pregnancy.  This baby is an acrobat though so I get plenty of reminders he/she is growing inside me : ).  Maybe this is because Cia is constantly reminding him/her that she’s on the outside..

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Lately I’ve been preparing dinner while Cia takes her afternoon nap.  As I mentioned it’s hot around here so I’m not too interested in eating fresh off the stove warm meals.  The local greens are available everywhere and salads seem to be what we are gravitating to.  I did make this a bit more exciting than I originally anticipated by preparing a sauce to mix in.  Originally I was going for lemon zest, lemon juice, and feta as my only seasonings, but last minute I decided to caramelize an onion and blend it with two roma tomatoes and plenty of fresh oregano.  I still added in the lemon and feta but the sauce gave a nice background flavor which I really enjoyed.

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Quinoa Spinach Salad

  • 1.5 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 large bunch of spinach, washed and chopped into thin ribbons
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 8 oz feta
  • s&p
  1. Cook quinoa.  Bring 3 cups water to a boil.  Add a teaspoon of olive oil and quinoa.  Mix, lower heat to a simmer, and cook covered for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork and cool.
  2. Meanwhile caramelize onion.  Over low heat heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan.  Once warm add onion, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Allow to cook 30 minutes until onion is soft and slightly browned.  Add chopped tomatoes and oregano.  Continue to cook another 10 minutes until tomatoes are soft.  Remove from heat and immersion blend into a sauce.  It will be thick.
  3. Add the chopped spinach to the warm pan from cooking the onions and allow to slightly wilt, maybe 5 minutes.  Just enough to soften the leaves but allow them to still hold their shape.
  4. In a large bowl add the quinoa, onion sauce, spinach, lemon zest, lemon juice, and crumbled feta.  Mix well and season with s&p.  Allow mixture to sit room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

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