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Avocado Goddess Quinoa Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach

By Chef TopNotch




This vibrant and refreshing salad with creamy avocado goddess dressing is the perfect addition to any picnic or gathering. Packed with wholesome ingredients and bursting with flavor, it's sure to become a favorite!


Ingredients:


For the Avocado Goddess Dressing:


- 1/2 ripe avocado

- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (omit for vegan version)

- 1/2 cup water (more as needed to adjust consistency)

- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems

- 1 small clove of garlic

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

- Fresh squeezed juice from 1 lime


For the Quinoa Salad:


- 2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in vegetable broth for extra flavor)

- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves

- Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional for Vinaigrette Style Dressing:

- Extra virgin olive oil

- Additional lime juice


Instructions:


1. Prepare the Avocado Goddess Dressing:


  • In a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, Greek yogurt (if using), water, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, and lime juice.

  • Blend until smooth and creamy. If the dressing is too thick, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasoning to taste.


2. Make the Quinoa Salad:


  • Cook 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of vegetable broth according to package instructions. Once cooked, let it cool.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, halved cherry tomatoes, and fresh spinach leaves.

  • Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.


3. Assemble the Salad:


  • Drizzle the avocado goddess dressing over the quinoa salad.

  • Toss gently until all ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.


4. Optional Vinaigrette Style Dressing:


  • For a lighter, vinaigrette-style dressing, mix some of the avocado goddess dressing with extra virgin olive oil and additional lime juice. Adjust the ratio according to your taste preference.

  • Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad just before serving.


5. Serve and Enjoy:


  • Serve the avocado goddess quinoa salad immediately as a side dish or a main course.

  • Garnish with extra cilantro leaves or lime wedges if desired.


Tips:


  • This salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, it's best to add the dressing just before serving to maintain the freshness.

  • Customize the salad by adding other ingredients such as diced cucumbers, roasted corn kernels, or sliced avocado.

  • Feel free to adjust the amount of lime juice and garlic in the dressing to suit your taste preferences.

  • For a fully vegan version, omit the Greek yogurt and replace it with an additional avocado or a plant-based yogurt alternative.


Enjoy this nutritious and delicious avocado goddess quinoa salad at your next farmers market picnic or potluck!




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