Quinoa Salad With Baby Greens, Pea Shoots, & Avocado Dressing

I enjoy combining fresh seasonal ingredients to create tasty salads, often serving them as our main course entree. For this salad, I wanted to focus on mostly green vegetables which I mixed with cooked quinoa for protein as well as to make the salad a little more filling. I had some very ripe avocados that I needed to use up, so I diced one in the salad, and used the other one to make a creamy dressing. I used a bag of mixed baby salad greens, but you could use any lettuce you prefer, or even a blend of salad greens and thinly sliced kale. Along with the ingredients I used in my salad, other options could include steamed edamame, baby peas, or even blanched green beans. I have started sprouting my own seeds, grains and dried beans because I find the ones sold at the supermarket to be very expensive, and the freshness is questionable. For this salad, I had recently sprouted dried peas that were a perfect choice for this salad. If you are new to sprouting, it is very easy to do, and pea shoots are great for small spaces because they grow fast, taste delicious and are rich in Vitamin C, A and protein.

I like texture in my salads, so I used some chopped pistachios, but pine nuts or even lightly toasted walnuts would also be delicious. To cook quinoa, combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

 

  • Avocados provide nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals: potassium, folic acid and other B-vitamins, as well as vitamins E and K. They also contain phytonutrients, believed to help prevent many chronic diseases.
  • Avocados contain the mono- and polyunsaturated “good” fats that are recommended as part of a healthy diet.
  • Quinoa (aka Super Seed) is a gluten free seed that provides a complete protein as well as iron, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and folic acid.
  • Pistachios are high in protein and fiber and are packed with antioxidants. The nuts are also high in potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure, maintain water balance, and help to strengthen muscles.

Quinoa Salad With Baby Greens, Pea Shoots, & Avocado Dressing

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa (See Notes Above)
4 Cups Baby Greens (See Notes Above)
1 Packed Cup Pea Sprouts (Or Other Sprouts Of Choice)
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Cucumber
6 Scallions, Chopped
1 Medium Ripe Avocado, Peeled & Diced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
3/4 Cup Chopped Pistachios
Avocado Dressing:
1 Medium Avocado
1 Clove Fresh Garlic, Peeled
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Water

Directions:

In a large bowl, gently toss together the salad ingredients except the pistachios, and then arrange on a large platter.
In a mini food processor add the garlic, avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.
Thin the salad dressing out with a little bit of warm water {1/4 cup to 1/2 cup} until it reaches a desired consistency.
Keep in an airtight container for at least a week.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then sprinkle with the pistachios and serve immediately.