Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Blueberry Avocado Quinoa Salad

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And we're back! As you may or may not remember, on Saturday I shared that I'd be heading to the genius bar to get my computer diagnosed because it decided last week that it just didn't want to turn on. Not even a little bit.

Well, I did that, and long story short I'm now writing to you from my brand new laptop! It's so light, and fast, and quiet - it's instant love over here ladies and gentlemen. AND because Other Half is a teacher, and we're married, I got a discount! Education for the win!

But let's get back to the reason we're all really here. I'd like to introduce you all to my new favourite salad. I like a little bit of everything in my salads, and this one does not disappoint for that, but the main flavours are sweet blueberries, creamy avocado, nutty quinoa, a hint of salty feta, and a citrus-y dressing. Sounds good, right? That's because it is. Trust me. I went back for seconds and would have gone for thirds but my "tomorrow self" had already put dibs on those for lunch, and it was worth the wait because then I got to enjoy it all over again! And once I restock my lettuce supply, I'll be making this again and I already can't wait.

For the dressing I made a super-duper basic vinaigrette using calamansi balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a tiny bit of maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. The calamansi is what gives it the citrusy flavour and is a hybrid between citrus and kumquat. If you don't have this, you can substitute in some regular balsamic vinegar and orange juice (because the orange juice will be sweeter you could also cut the maple syrup, but that's up to you!)

The nuts and seeds portion of this salad features hemp hearts and pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), but it would delicious with sesame, chia, chopped almonds, or just about anything your genius brains can dream up.

This salad has really helped me focus on the weather warming up and all the delightful things that spring has to offer, including a whole fresh crop of spring veggies like fiddleheads and asparagus, woohoo!

Have you been doing anything lately that has you psyched for the changing season? I'd love to hear about!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Blueberry Avocado Quinoa Salad

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/2 bunch baby arugula
1/2 bunch of leafy green lettuce (or lettuce of choice)
approx. 15 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2-3 Tbsp hemp hearts
1/4 cup pepitas (unsalted) - add more to your taste
dressing to taste (recipe below)


  1. Cook quinoa to package directions. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all ingredients, including the cooled quinoa, but excluding the dressing.
  3. Toss lightly with dressing just before serving
  4. Enjoy!
Citrus-y Balsamic Vinaigrette 

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp calamansi balsamic vinegar
1 tsp pure maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

*This will make more than needed for the salad, dress the salad slowly so you don't over do it
* If you don't have calamansi balsamic, use regular balsamic and orange juice, use maple syrup sparingly

Mix all ingredients together in a jar and use on a variety of salads!

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