We are all about making salads that serve as a great stand-alone dish for lunch and can be perfectly complimented by a little extra protein, like grilled chicken or salmon, for dinner.  The chopped cherries and creamy Dijon vinaigrette make this healthy dish pop with incredible flavor.  Making dishes ahead & versatile enough that work for your lifestyle is key to ensuring nutritious eats, especially during hectic weeks.  What we love about this dish is not only how yummy it is, but how you can make ahead and keep in fridge for at least 3 days, while keeping the dressing separate.  Then, combine before eating, or before you pack to go.      

 [ingredients title=”What you’ll need”]

  • ½ cup slice unsalted almonds
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (unless you have pre-washed)
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1-15 ounce can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened cherries, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped in quarters
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste


[directions title=”Prep + Cook”]

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions.  Let cool.
  3. In a large serving bowl, toss together quinoa, spinach, chickpeas, cucumber, cherries and onion. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, and salt & pepper to taste.  Pour over salad and toss to coat (or set aside if storing for future meals). 
  5. Top with toasted almonds and gently stir.  Chill before serving for about 15 minutes then ENJOY!


Serves 6

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Author:  Jennifer Kuhar