Avocado Spinach Quinoa Salad

We’ve been having some amazing early spring weather here in Philly. So to celebrate the first day of Spring, Matt and I decided to have a picnic dinner over in Schuylkill River Park. Unable to keep things simple, I planned an elaborate menu that I was working on almost til the sun went down. Luckily we were able to get over to the park just before sunset and had a lovely dinner. This quinoa salad was definitely one of the standout dishes of the meal. It was simple to make and super healthy. Credit to The Diva Dish for the idea. I slightly modified some of the amounts and ingredients, which I also recommend you do to suit your tastes. This was another great Pinterest find!

Avocado Spinach Quinoa Salad

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (optional)
1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed. I always look for ones with low sodium or no salt added)
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
2 avocados (diced)
2 cups spinach
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 medium red onion
1 tsp fresh garlic (grate cloves or use the pre-minced garlic in a jar)
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper

Prepare the quinoa according to the package. For some extra flavor, prepare with vegetable broth. Look for a low sodium or organic broth if you’re looking to keep it healthier, or just use water to prepare. While the quinoa is cooking, combine the garlic, spinach, cilantro, and onion in a food processor. Pulse until well combined. With processor on low speed, drizzle in olive oil. When quinoa is cooked, allow to cool slightly. Stir in your spinach mixture. Once combined, stir in the chick peas, avocado, and tomato. Add the lemon juice and cumin, and gently stir until combined. Add salt and pepper as desired. Refrigerate until desired temperature is reached. This salad is best slightly chilled.

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