This post was sponsored by the California Prune Board, but (as always!) all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the organizations that make Lake Shore Lady possible!
I feel like everyone is always looking for easy and nutritious lunches – especially ones that you can prep ahead of time! So, as I was brainstorming recipes for this month, I thought a new quinoa salad was definitely in order.
I love quinoa salads because they’re totally customizable. You could bulk it up with meat and cheese, or leave it vegan like this one. I honestly didn’t even really mean to make this one vegan, I was just excited about all of these flavors together!
A lot of these ingredients are pretty typical, but if the olives and prunes are throwing you off – don’t let it! I discovered this combination on a trip to Sonoma with California Prunes and the combination of salty and sweet is SO GOOD together. Plus, prunes have a TON of nutritional benefits that make this salad even more satisfying. I mean, aren’t we all looking for more delicious, healthy, and satisfying lunches?
more about California prunes:
Prunes are super underrated, which is why you might not know just how good for you they are. You’ve probably heard that they are great for your digestive/gut health, but they are also really awesome for your bone health and heart health, too! Plus, they help with satiation and hunger control which is KEY around lunchtime. This is because they have high amounts of soluble fiber to help keep your blood sugar from spiking by slowly raising the glucose levels in your blood. They also slow down your digestion and absorption, which can help you feel satisfied for longer! No 3pm slump with this recipe, girl!
Vegan Quinoa Salad
1 cup dry quinoa (3 cups cooked)
12 California prunes, diced (always check the bag for ‘California’ before you buy!)
3 tbsp olives
1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup spinach, roughly chopped
1.5 tbsp lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
While the quinoa is cooking, cut the prunes, olives, tomatoes, red onion, and spinach. I like to quarter the tomatoes and cut the prunes around the same size as the tomato pieces. I like the olives and red onion diced smaller since those are such strong flavors though! As for the spinach, you can leave them as big pieces, roughly chop them, or even slice finely. Totally depends on your preference.
Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and dijon in a separate bowl.
When the quinoa is done cooking, add all of the ingredients together and toss to combine.
It can be served warm or chilled, but store any leftovers in your refrigerator.
Other ways to eat prunes:
After you try this recipe, you’re going to be way more into prunes – trust me! That being said, I know not everyone will eat them on their own as a snack… and that’s okay! Luckily, there are a TON of ways to incorporate them into your diet in really delicious ways.
Since prunes are naturally sweet, it makes a lot of sense to eat them at breakfast. Most of the time, I’ll chop them up and put them on my oatmeal or greek yogurt with some nuts and fresh berries. I also blend them into smoothies, too! They’re a great alternative to dates, which have a higher sugar content.
If you prefer more savory dishes, I also chop them into our green salads all the time and Adam doesn’t complain at all! I think he thinks they’re dried cranberries or raisins 😉 California Prunes are also a GREAT addition to any cheese platter or mezze board – YUM! And if you’re a pizza lover, I’m dying to try this prosciutto and arugula flatbread with prunes! I bet the mix of salty and sweet is delicious.
- 1 cup dry quinoa (3 cups cooked)
- 12 prunes, diced
- 3 tbsp olives
- 1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1.5 tbsp lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, cut the prunes, olives, tomatoes, red onion, and spinach. I like to quarter the tomatoes and cut the prunes around the same size as the tomato pieces. I like the olives and red onion diced smaller since those are such strong flavors though! As for the spinach, you can leave them as big pieces, roughly chop them, or even slice finely. Totally depends on your preference.
- Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and dijon in a separate bowl.
- When the quinoa is done cooking, add all of the ingredients together and toss to combine.
- It can be served warm or chilled, but store any leftovers in your refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 10gSugar: 23gProtein: 11g