I eat A LOT of salads, and let me tell you, if they are not done correctly, they can get boring pretty quickly. A plant-based protein-rich food I often add to my salads to mix them up is quinoa. And to turn it up a notch further, I love using crispy quinoa! If you haven’t added crispy quinoa to your salads, I highly recommend it because it adds a layer of texture you likely didn’t know you needed.
This Crispy Quinoa Broccoli Salad recipe is a simple way to change the flavor and texture of quinoa while still providing all of the benefits like magnesium for bone health and iron for energy which we could all use. I added cashews to mine, but feel free to play around with this recipe by adding your favorite nuts or seeds. When cooking the quinoa for the salad, if you want to make it crispy as I did, you will want to use a 1/1.5 ratio of quinoa to liquid.
Bonus: there’s a whopping 20+ grams of protein in this salad!
Crispy Quinoa Broccoli Salad with Lemon Dressing
For the Salad
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
3.5 ounces of spinach
2 cups of dinosaur kale
2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets
3/4 cups toasted cashews, rough chop
For the Dressing
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/3 cup of dairy free sour cream
3 Tbsp olive oil
Cook quinoa as advised above for crispiness. Once quinoa is done, set aside and heat the coconut oil in a frying pan. When the coconut oil is hot, add the quinoa and stir for about 2-3 minutes until crispy you might hear some popping noises!). Set aside to cool and prep dressing.
Roast the broccoli with a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper until crunchy.
Mix the lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, honey, salt, herbs and dairy free sour cream in a bowl. Whisk in oil and add other seasonings to taste.
Pour all ingredients (salad, dressing, broccoli, nuts) into a large mixing bowl and toss. Serve for your friends (or keep all to yourself) and enjoy!