Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

I came home from Thailand with some serious inspiration to start making big ol’ pots of grains and beans.

And that is precisely what I did. In a jet-lagged haze I made lentils, black beans (which I wayyyyyy overcooked) and quinoa. At five in the morning. :)

Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

Does anyone else have trouble cooking beans? I don’t know why I find it so complicated, but they never turn out right. Maybe I just need some more practice, but I think I’m going to try cooking them in the crock pot, I’ve heard good things with that method!

Anyway…whenever I make quinoa, I’m reminded that I don’t really love plain quinoa. I need to put it in something or at least dress it well. When I made this big ol’ pot of quinoa, I knew I wanted to put it into a salad. I was craving something bright, fresh and flavorful to eat for lunch this week. Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is all of those things.

Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

I added lemon juice and zest to the vinaigrette to give it that light lemon flavor that I love in salads this time of year. I chose arugula instead of sautéed kale to keep it fresh.

Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

I added chopped almonds for some extra staying power and a necessary crunch. (For even more staying power, I recommend topping it with some garbanzo beans, chopped hard boiled eggs or grilled chicken.)

Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

This salad is all of the things I wanted it to be. It’s bright and light; nutritious and tasty. What more can you ask of a little seed and some greens?

Note: This salad is best made ahead of time to let the flavors deepen, and it’s great the next day.

nutrition facts: 350 calories, 19 grams of fat, 9 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber

Quinoa & Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: entree salad side gluten-free high fiber high protein kosher vegan vegetarian spring summer


Ingredients (4 servings)

    For the Salad

    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 6-8 cups arugula
    • 1/2 cup almonds, roasted and chopped

    For the Vinaigrette

    • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about one lemon)
    • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp honey (vegans, use maple syrup!)
    • 3 Tbsp minced shallots (about one)
    • salt & pepper


    For the Salad

    Prepare quinoa as directed.

    Let cool.

    Toss quinoa, arugula, almonds and dressing until combined.

    For the Vinaigrette

    Whisk together all ingredients.

    Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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    11 Comments (Reply )

    1. allie@sweetpotatobites
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      This looks so light and refreshing – I love using lemon vinaigrettes on salads!


    2. Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:20 am

      That salad dressing sounds really fresh. Perfect for spring/summer salads. Thanks for the recipe!


    3. erin
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:32 am

      So making this for dinner. PERFECT meal for such a grey dreary day here in Minnesnowta (and, yes, it is snowing… waaahhhhh!).


      • Emily
        Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

        I heard. WTF is all I have to say about snow in (basically) May.


    4. Hyedi
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

      Yum! This looks awesome. I love the idea of adding the almonds for some crunch and staying power :)


    5. Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

      Um, has Bon Appetit recruited you for photographing their recipes yet? Wow, gorgeous! I love anything lemony, so I know that I would love this light salad! What a great lunch to bring to work!


      • Emily
        Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

        You are too kind! I’ve been loving it for work.


    6. sarah k @ the pajama chef
      May 01, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

      ohhh yum. i don’t love plain quinoa either. this looks utterly fabulous!


    7. Lori
      May 03, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

      This sounds great! Arugula is my favorite green so I welcome all new ways to use it. Delicious!


    8. Eileen
      May 04, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

      Simple, light, healthy and packed with protein. Love it! I love adding quinoa to my salad as well. In fact, I’ve done quinoa, kale and blueberries.


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