This quinoa salad which is packed with veggies and toasted sunflower seeds is absolutely delicious. It is easy to make and is a wonderful option as a vegan and gluten-free side dish. For people who eat dairy, you may wish to substitute goat cheese for the daiya pepper jack cubes.
Crunchy Quinoa Spinach Salad
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa (I used the tri-colored variety to give it some variety)
1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, gently torn
1/4 cup cubed daiya (or other dairy-free) Pepper Jack cheese
4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Add vegetable broth, quinoa, bell pepper and corn to a medium sauce pan on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. While quinoa is cooking, mix red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, in order to make salad dressing.
2. When done, add sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Allow to cool briefly while arranging spinach on a salad plate. Top spinach with quinoa and add cheese and basil on top of salad. Drizzle with red wine vinegar salad dressing and serve.