Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill

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A unique, spanakopita-inspired salad

This dish is based on the ingredients in spanakopita, the very rich and tasty Greek pie made from layers of phyllo dough and butter, stuffed with cheese, spinach, and herbs, and full of dairy, processed wheat, and fat. A lighter, fresher way to enjoy those flavors, this salad is made with gluten-free quinoa and lots of fresh herbs and veggies.

For those of you with dietary restrictions or aversions, this is an incredibly flexible recipe. Vegans and dairy-free eaters can omit the feta and add some kalamata olives for a salty bite. I know there are mint-haters out there, so feel free to leave that out. And for those of you who would rather not use pine nuts, I have also used sliced almonds or roasted pistachios before with success. This Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill is the perfect lunch or light dinner on its own, but I have also served this with dozens of different sides including roasted carrots and beets, grilled zucchini, or sautéed green beans with shallots. Can you say “Spring It On?!”

This delicious quinoa recipe was contributed by Pamela Salzman. Pamela is a certified holistic health counselor and a natural foods cooking instructor based in Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and three children. She shares great healthful, family-friendly recipes and nutrition tips on her website www.pamelasalzman.com.

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Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill

This delightful quinoa salad is a great addition to any meal, any time of the year.
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 1 cup
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Universal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked, RINSED (see Step 1)
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted, optional
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced or 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves lightly packed (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped, optional
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil unrefined, cold-pressed
  • 6 ounces feta preferably made from goat or sheep’s milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Rinse quinoa in a bowl with water or place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Drain and transfer to a medium saucepan with a pinch of sea salt and 1 3/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let sit, covered for 10 minutes. Quinoa can remain in the pot until ready to combine with other salad ingredients or transfer to a serving bowl and fluff with a fork. Allow quinoa to cool slightly.
  • To the quinoa add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. * Or you can place the spinach on a serving platter and toss with 1 Tablespoon of the lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Combine quinoa with remaining ingredients and mound on top of the spinach leaves. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Other additions can include Kalamata olives, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and/or fresh corn kernels.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 294.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 23.1g | Saturated Fat: 4.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 577mg | Fiber: 3.1g | Sugar: 6g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10
Keywords Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Vegetarian

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8 Comments

  1. I'm not following the servings. I thought this was a spinach quinoa salad with feta. Not an enchilada? How much is one serving of just the quinoa salad? Thanks.

  2. Wow that was amazing! I added the kalamata olives and the cuke. Forgot to buy baby spinach so served it over romaine. I will be eating this for the rest of the week for lunch. So good!!

  3. Amy, Actually it is correct but the fats are mainly healthy fats from pine nuts and olive oil. Keep in mind, all fats are not unhealthy. 🙂

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