Sweet-Enough Vegan Spinach and Quinoa Salad

Our local market, Milk Pail, is where we get all of our fresh produceAs you may have noticed, all of our recipes generate enough food to feed a crowd. Maybe not a super hungry one, but a crowd nonetheless. This is because as graduate students we only have time to cook on weekends. So, Chris and I both make enough to last us the week and then I spend a good hour or two transforming the aftermath back into a kitchen. Sure it can get fairly boring by Thursday or Friday, but until we get grown-up jobs, its the best way for us to eat healthier and save money as we avoid fast food and/or sit-down restaurants.

This weekend I also became interested in “tasting the rainbow,” (fruits & veggies, not Skittles). Rainbow eating ensures you get in a variety of fruits and veggies and thus a wide array of plant-nutrients. The result is thought to reduce one’s risk of chronic diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, some even some cancers. Here’s how my week breaks down:

    • Red: Tomatoes in the sauce from this week’s dinner, Whole wheat spaghetti and Wheatballs.
    • Orange: Fresh carrot juice since we both Like to Juice It, Juice It.
    • Yellow: I’m not sure bananas count since it’s the inside color that counts, but bananas are in my fiber cereal this week
    • Green: Spinach came to mind and salads make great lunches. Thus, this recipe was born. (I needed my spinach salad to be animal-free, and not loaded with sugars)
    • Blue: Fresh blueberries are now in season and in my plain yogurt!
    • Purple: Purple onions? We used them in our Spaghetti recipe…

Sweet-Enough Vegan Spinach and Quinoa Salad

"Softening" the spinach(Serves 5 or 10)

For Salad:

  • 1 cup raw quinoa
  • 4 cups raw baby spinach
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

For dressing:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 T unsweetened applesauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I used ~½ tsp of each)


Cook quinoa as per directions. The final amount of cooked quinoa should be 4 cups. If bought in bulk, you can follow these instructions. While quinoa is cooking, wash roughly chop baby spinach and place in large bowl. When quinoa is done (and still warm), fluff well and add to bowl containing chopped spinach and dried cranberries (be sure to declump first). Toss all until mixed well, which WILL talk longer than expected. Ideally, you want each forkful to contain all ingredients. Cover bowl while you make the dressing. This will start the “softening” of the baby spinach.


Combine olive oil, vinegar, applesauce and spices in a small bowl and mix until emulsified. Once mixed well, add to salad and toss again to coat. When mixed, all should be shiny: there should be no dry spinach leaves.


This salad serves ~10 as a side dish or 5 as a main course. This is my lunch for the week, so I divided it into 5 parts to be served with whole wheat bread.

Recipe by HarrisArnoldCollaboration

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  1. I’m going to have the girls fix this one, it looks so good. Please start a recipe book!!! much love…

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