Do you ever have those days when your body is just craving greens? The last few days, Robb and I have had an unusually strong pull to get our greens (over and above our almost daily green smoothie). Maybe it’s because it’s spring, and our bodies are craving sunlight. Maybe it’s because I had a cold that really seemed to linger. Regardless, we happily obliged.

We have also been on a bit of a “quinoa kick” the last few days. We were gifted some lovely Manitoba-grown quinoa by Robb’s sister, Heather. Like Robb, she loves supporting smaller businesses (family trait), and we love the idea of quinoa being grown domestically to lessen the environmental footprint. Quinoa is also a great staple of any diet, vegan or otherwise…yay for plant-based protein!

We also really enjoyed adding herbs to the spinach mixture. Just gently tearing the leaves (no finicky fine chopping) gave a yummy burst of flavour to the spinach. The lightly nutty taste of the quinoa was really enhanced with the broccoli and avocado, not to mention the balsamic vinaigrette. All in all, it was a deeply nourishing and satisfying meal. If you make it, we hope you love it!

Green Goddess Salad
8 cups loosely packed baby spinach
1 cup fresh basil leaves – gently torn
1 cup fresh parsley leaves – gently torn
3 green onions – diced
1 avocado – pitted and sliced
Broccoli – 2 cups florets and peeled stalks – lightly steamed
1/4 pumpkin seeds – lightly toasted
Cooked quinoa

Quinoa
1 cup quinoa – rinsed well
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 onion – diced (approx 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon coconut oil

*For the quinoa, after rinsing well, add to pan with melted coconut oil (I use a cast iron pan) and gently stir to lightly toast quinoa. Add diced onion. Add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic – minced

*Combine above ingredients and mix well.

Assembly
Gently toss spinach with herbs. In bowl or serving platter, top spinach leaves with quinoa. Add broccoli, avocado, green onions and pumpkin seeds. Dress with desired amount of vinaigrette. Enjoy!