Recipe Highlight: Zucchini Quinoa Salad w/Cranberry & Spinach
Out of all the things I enjoy about my job, playing around with ingredients and honing a recipe is right near the top. I'll think of an idea or find a recipe, and make it plenty of times throughout the week on the clients who let me cook whatever I want (another highlight of the job). I'm going to highlight certain recipes that me and my team make for our clients each week to give an inside look into our meal prep service and how much fun we have!
As we welcome Fall I've decided to highlight my Zucchini Quinoa Salad. An adapted recipe from my Dean & Deluca days, this recipe is many things: healthy, clean, festive, beautiful, and easy. Oh, and delicious.
You can see from the picture I paired it with a shallow poached, Spinach Stuffed Salmon but feel free to eat with whatever you're having: chicken, fish, grilled steak, or skip the meat and have a wonderful vegetarian lunch option.
The star ingredients:
Quinoa - you should all be well aware of the health benefits: high in fiber, antioxidants, and amino acids. But also super versatile and the texture works well in many ways.
Zucchini - quickly roasted to take away the raw aspect.
Fresh Spinach - another healthy filler
Pumpkin Seeds - perfect Fall ingredient that has plenty of B Vitamins, Iron, & Protein
Dried Cranberries - often thought of as a superfood
Green Onions - add a nice bit of freshness without the harsh bite of raw onion
Sherry Vinaigrette - a simple mix to compliment all the flavors of the salad.
Yields: 4-6 servings
2 C Quinoa, Cooked and Chilled (about 1/2 C raw)
1 medium Zucchini, diced into small pieces
1 C fresh spinach leaves, slice into thin strips
1/4 C Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 C Dried Cranberries
1/4 C Scallions, sliced thin
2 Tbsp Sherry Dressing (recipe below)
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Toss the zucchini in a little bit of oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 500 degree oven for 9 minutes. Make sure it has cooled at least to room temperature before combining with everything else.
Mix together everything except the Sherry dressing. Toss with dressing just before serving.
1/4 C Sherry Vinegar
1/2 C Olive Oil (your favorite brand)
2 Tbsp Honey
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl or container and whisk thoroughly. This dressing will separate; give it a quick stir before mixing into the salad. Reserve the rest and use as you would a salad dressing.