Quinoa and Spinach Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Pecans, Avocado and Pomegranate Seeds

This quinoa and spinach salad is full of flavor and a great main course salad. It's a great reason to have cooked quinoa on hand all the time. You can roast the cauliflower in the air fryer, or on a sheet pan in the oven. The pecans, avocado and pomegranate each bring great flavor and texture to this delicious salad too.

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Quinoa and Spinach Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Pecans, Avocado and Pomegranate Seeds

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 25 m
  • Total Time: 35 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, red, white or multi-colored
  • cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets (about ½ head of cauliflower)
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 1 shallot minced
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa in cold water in a saucepan, swirling it with your hand until any dry husks rise to the surface. Drain the quinoa as well as you can and then put the saucepan on the stovetop. Turn the heat to medium-high and dry the quinoa on the stovetop, shaking the pan regularly until you see the quinoa moving easily and can hear the seeds moving in the pan. Add the water, salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat to low or medium-low. You should just see a few bubbles, not a boil. Leave a lid on the pan askew (or if you have pour spouts on the saucepan, just put the lid on the pot). Simmer for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and fluff the quinoa with a fork. If there is any liquid left in the bottom of the pot, place it back on the burner for another 3 minutes or so. Spread the cooked quinoa out on a sheet pan to cool.
  2. Pre-heat air fryer to 400°F. Toss the cauliflower florets in olive oil and season with salt and ground black pepper. Air-fry at 400ºF for 12 minutes, shaking the basket several times during the cooking process. (Cauliflower can also be roasted in a 450°F oven for 25-35 minutes.)
  3. While the cauliflower is air-frying, make the lemon vinaigrette. Whisk together the shallots, lemon juice, honey, fresh chives, salt and black pepper. Whisk in the olive oil to emulsify the dressing. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste and set the dressing aside.
  4. When the cauliflower has finished cooking and the quinoa has cooled to room temperature, combine the cooled quinoa, pomegranate seeds, pecans, roasted cauliflower, avocado and fresh spinach in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss everything together.
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