In an effort to eat healthier lunches, I found this recipe in Cooking Light. It’s a great quinoa recipe, with the mexican-style vinaigrette flavoring the grain really well. My only recommendation (which I’ve already adjusted in the recipe below) is to double the vinaigrette–and reserve half for when you are serving the salad–especially if you like the liquid on the greens as well.

Make this ahead on Sunday night, and you will have enough lunches to last you an entire week. Just store the spinach and extra vinaigrette separately. To reduce heat, dice jalapeño after removing seeds and steams instead of slicing it.

Quinoa Spinach Salad with Mole Vinaigrette
Cooking Light

  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1.5 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (or sunflower seeds), toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Fresno chile or jalapeño pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  1. Cook quinoa per package instructions, let cool.
  2. Combine first 7 ingre­dients (through adobo sauce) in a small bowl; gradually add oil, stirring well with a whisk.
  3. Combine quinoa and next 6 ingredients (through beans) in a large bowl. Add half of the vinaigrette; toss to coat.
  4. When ready to serve, add spinach; toss to combine, and add additional vinaigrette if desired.