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With spring in the air, it feels like the right time to lighten up at dinner. One of my colleagues approached me this week and expressed confusion about salad – and the fact so many of the "healthy" salads out there are anything but. So I figured I'd share my favourite recipe for a truly healthy salad that tastes like an indulgence. This is substantial enough to leave everyone feeling full.

Servings: 4

Salad

  • 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
  • ½ a cucumber, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Package of extra firm tofu, chopped
  • 1 avocado, removed from skin and diced
  • ½ a sweet pepper, diced
  • 4 tbsp. slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
  • ½ cup of feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Dressing

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3.5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano or thyme
  • ½ teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Method

First, boil 2 ¾ cups of water in a large pot. Once water is boiling, add quinoa and reduce heat, stirring until water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). If some water remains after 15 minutes, you can drain it.

Once the quinoa is cooked, place it in a large bowl or platter.

Chop all of the vegetables and tofu, toast the almonds, crumble the cheese and assemble the dressing. Once that is done, add all of the remaining ingredients on top of the quinoa. I like to start with the spinach and end with the avocado, nuts and cheese for a nice presentation. Pour dressing on top and serve.

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