Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots & Baby Spinach

We will begin sending you healthy recipes on a regular basis; this one was submitted by Katy Magoon R.D. Katy will be helping us much more than healthy recipes in the New Year, so stay tuned for some  really beneficial programs that we will be collaborating on.

Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots & Baby Spinach

4 servings | Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa, (see Ingredient note)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing, (recipe follows), divided
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)


1.       Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.

2.       Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Add apricots and the quinoa; continue cooking, stirring often, until the quinoa has dried out and turned light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.

3.       Meanwhile, make Moroccan-Spiced Lemon Dressing. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with 1/3 cup of the dressing. Let cool for 10 minutes.

4.       Just before serving, add tomatoes and onion to the quinoa; toss to coat. Toss spinach with the remaining 1/3 cup dressing in a large bowl. Divide the spinach among 4 plates. Mound the quinoa salad on the spinach and sprinkle with almonds.


Per serving: 325 Calories; 10 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 5 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 51 g Carbohydrates; 11 g Protein; 7 g Fiber; 214 mg Sodium; 957 mg Potassium

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1/2 lean protein, 1 1/2 fat

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate the quinoa and dressing separately for up to 2 days.
  • Ingredient note: Quinoa is available in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets. Toasting this grain before simmering enhances its flavor.
  • To toast nuts: Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  • Recipe for Dressing:
  • Ingredients
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


1.       Whisk lemon juice, yogurt, honey, cumin, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl until blended. Slowly whisk in oil so that the dressing becomes smooth and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

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