If you’re ever feeling down in the dumps (and love dogs), I encourage you to sift through these 500+ comments. I posted a picture of the pups on my FB page the other night and invited you to do the same. I was giggling/flipping out over all your adorable pictures. Admittedly, I spent hours scrolling through each one. (And while you’re on my page, hang around at 1pm ET today because I’ll be doing another FB Live baking demo. This week we can make fruit pizza together!)
But besides all that dog razzmatazz, I want to show you a healthier item on my weekly rotation lately. My friends made this berry quinoa salad for us a few weeks ago when we visited Scottsdale, AZ. Along with a super delicious platter of grilled chicken and asparagus, the whole summertime home-cooked meal completely hit the spot during our busy travels.
The fresh berry quinoa salad, though, was my fave.
This is a dish for those of us who like a lot of stuff in our salads. I know that means you! We’re talking minimum lettuce and maximum fun like fresh berries, salty sunflower seeds, basil, gorgonzola cheese, and quinoa. It’s a total texture party. And, unapologetically, there’s 3x the amount of berries to spinach. Spinach merely adds a little more green and you probably wouldn’t miss it if it were gone. Lettuce-less salads are the best salads.
But here’s what I love the most and why I felt inspired to share this savory recipe with you: it checks everything off our summer food goals.
- *texture party*
I call that happy eating. You know, when the stars align between healthy + delicious + easy. A perfect summer dish you can toss together in 1 bowl in about 5 minutes flat. Bonus that it’s majorly colorful especially when that quinoa turns pink from the raspberries. ♥ ♥
Besides the healthy + delicious + easy trifecta, we also need to discuss the make-ahead factor. Flavor is even better on days 2 and 3 after everything has married and melded together. So when you don’t feel like making anything for dinner, this is already magically prepared in the fridge. Because you took the 5 minutes to “make” it the day before. Don’t you love that?
The dressing is 4 ingredients and I bet you’ve got ’em all handy: olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, honey, and a pinch of salt. Nothing to take away from the fresh berry flavors, but everything to complement them. And it’s not weighed down with dressing, either. Just a light coat to really bring the fresh components together.
One last thing. Let’s break the rules a little bit and eat this salad with a big spoon. It’s not weird (though should you really trust me on what’s WEIRD!?). But a spoon gives you more opportunity for maximum stuff! Since there’s very little lettuce, a spoon just makes sense… right?
Happy healthy summer eats!
Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (a little over 1 cup dry)
- 1 heaping cup blackberries
- 1 heaping cup blueberries
- 1 heaping cup raspberries
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- pinch salt (or to taste)
- Combine all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together and toss with salad.
- Cover and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Salad tastes best on day 2 or 3 after the flavors have married. Enjoy!
The measurements for the actual salad are general guidelines-- feel free to add more/less berries, cheese, quinoa, basil, seeds, etc based on your preferences. Double the recipe for a larger crowd. Have fun with it!
Did you make a recipe?
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Equally summery + delicious + easy + texture party-ish: southwestern chopped chicken salad!