A few days ago, one of my sweet friends, Renee, took me to lunch at Modern Market at Shops of Briargate. This restaurant is AMAZING–locally owned, using area resourced ingredients to make healthy, yummy food. Tons of gluten free options including AMAZING pizza and waffles. Plus, for $2 I can get a pretty decent glass of red wine.
I got the Superfood salad and loved it so much, had to come home and replicate it immediately for my dinner. The Modern Market salad has grapes. I took a look in my fridge and realized, whelp, I’m on a budget and there are no grapes in that fridge. However, I had a few other ingredients that were calling my name.
So as I often do, I improvised, using the Modern Market Superfood salad as inspiration for this salad–
The Goddess Protein Salad!
1 cup cooked quinoa (I usually make about 2 cups of quinoa a week–keeping it in the fridge for breakfast cereal, salad toppings or my absolute favorite — quinoa butternut squash cakes)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup sheep’s milk feta cheese (I found this at Costco a few months back and it’s transformed my life!–Okay, maybe not my life but certainly my palate–it’s creamy, salty and enhances anything with green in it)
2 cups spinach
1/3 cup roasted baby tomatoes (I bought a huge bunch of tomatoes at Sprouts last week – BOGO – realizing a bit later that they were going bad before we could eat them all.
By the way, if you are live in Colorado Springs and like healthy, organic food but don’t have a Whole Foods budget, Sprouts is your friend. Since our Sprouts opened up a few miles down the street, I’ve saved between $25-$50/week on organic groceries. It’s a great shopping experience and on Wednesdays, you can have double ads–meaning last week’s prices AND this week’s prices count)
Back to the tomatoes though–I put them in a 325 oven, drizzled with olive oil and a bit of Kosher salt. Baked until shriveled and sweet–about 20 minutes)
1 Tbls Dijon mustard
3 Tbls. white balsamic vinegar (I use Trader Joes–the white doesn’t make my stomach turn upside down like the original version does)
1/3 cup avocado oil (Costco has the BEST price on this one)
salt and pepper
1 tsp honey
Mix it all up together.
Throw all salad ingredients except spinach, avocados and cucumbers in a bowl. Mix in dressing and stir really well. You want the quinoa to soak in the dressing.
Put cucumbers and spinach on plate. Add avocados and then throw on the quinoa mix…portions are up to you.
If you’re feeling especially saucy, grab handful of my favorite baked peas from Costco (Bhuju) and throw on top for the crunch factor.