This Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Apple and Pecans is my favorite fall salad! It works both as a side dish and a light lunch.
For the Salad:
½ cup uncooked quinoa
½ cup raw pecans
6 cups fresh baby spinach
1 large apple, thinly sliced*
½ cup dried cranberries
4 ounces goat cheese
For the Dressing:
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
a bit of black pepper
To cook the quinoa, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Rinse and drain quinoa and add it to the boiling water. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Transfer quinoa to a bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, toast the pecans by placing them in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until fragrant, stirring often. Watch pecans carefully as they can go from toasted to burned quickly. Set aside.
While the quinoa and pecans cool, make the dressing. Whisk together all dressing ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
To assemble the salad, place the spinach in a large bowl. Add the cooled quinoa, apple slices, cranberries, and toasted pecans. Crumble on the goat cheese. When ready to serve the salad, toss with dressing and serve.
*If not serving salad immediately, toss the apple slices with a little lemon juice. Add dressing to salad right before serving.
Recipe by Kristine's Kitchen at https://kristineskitchenblog.com/spinach-and-quinoa-salad-with-apple-and-pecans/