Citrus Quinoa Spinach Salad

This month I am bucking the pumpkin trend! Don’t get me wrong I do love pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes but it is only barely November and I am already pumpkined out for crying out loud. Anyway one of my ladies recently told me about how much she loves this salad and I wanted to share it with you. Cook the quinoa as you prepare the salad (not ahead of time). Adding the warm quinoa wilts the spinach and incorporates the cheese and dressing.

salad 11.13

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah, not queen-o like the superstitious sports fan says in this funny commercial) is a nutrient dense food with anti inflammatory properties. Studies show that a diet rich in colorful veggies, like spinach, may reduce your cancer risk. Did you know that your body absorbs nutrients more easily when you eat your veggies with a good dose of fat? Click on this article to learn more.

This salad starts with just a few basic ingredients – spinach, quinoa, lemon, feta, olive oil and green onion. I added pecans and garlic, feel free to jazz it up as you see fit.

spinach quinoa salad 11.13

Citrus Quinoa Spinach Salad


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, pulverized
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper
  • 6 oz baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


Cook quinoa according to package directions (I cooked mine in the rice cooker – 1 part quinoa to 2 parts broth for about 15 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk together lemon zest, juice, olive oil, chili flakes, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add spinach, onions, and pecans. Mix in warm quinoa and sprinkle with feta.

Anne McCranie is a Portland, Oregon based personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. She offers this recipe to tempt your taste buds. Please see your medical professional for specific dietary advice.