Before I tell you about this fabulous salad, I just need to say… I'm sitting in my apartment, excited like a giddy teenager, counting down the hours until Friday morning. Why am I acting like a crazy person you may be wondering?
Because the Nourished Food Blogger Conference is only 60 hours away!
That's right, at 6am on Thursday I will be hopping on a plane, headed for Chicago, to join my fellow gluten-free and allergy-free food bloggers! We are going to learn, meet, talk, network, eat, blog and laugh (hopefully a lot).
This is super exciting for me, because it's the first event I have been to that is centered on gluten-free food blogs. The agenda is jam packed, with the entire day focused on making your blog better and taking it to the next level! We're going to talk about improving your writing, honing your recipe development, building a brand and experimenting with food photography.
Doesn't that just sound amazing?
Okay, now for the salad. Let's start at the bottom and work our way up.
For the greens, I used fresh, organic spinach, topped with organic pea shoots. I've never used pea shoots before, but when I saw this Sugar Snap Pea & Fennel Salad by Sylvie from Gourmande in the Kitchen, the idea of peas totally stuck and I've been craving them ever since.
When I went looking for organic sugar snap peas at my local natural foods market, they didn't have them. Slightly discouraged, I kept strolling through the veggie section searching for some inspiration, when I spied a box of organic pea shoots. I was intrigued and figured it was a sign. I had to try them.
In case you don't already know this, pea shoots are delicious! Like heavier, more substantial sprouts. Delicate, crispy and light.
I'm the kind of girl that likes some substance with my salads. When I discovered quinoa (over two years ago now), it started as a side, but slowly moved its way onto the tops of my salads. Since quinoa has all nine essential amino acids, it's a complete vegetable protein, making it a perfect addition to the top of salads.
Mr. Henderson and I have also been on a salmon and tuna kick lately. We have been using canned tuna and salmon (always wild caught, no salt added – make sure to check your labels!) in lots of different recipes, like these Quinoa Salmon Cakes. We decided we wanted to add more than just quinoa to our salad and so tuna it was.
Personally, there isn't much better than a fresh tuna salad. Light on the mayo, pumped up with mustard and fresh dill, this tuna salad stood out amongst the others we have made. It was so tasty!
Spinach Salad with Pea Shoots, Tuna & Quinoa
- Prepare your quinoa by bringing 1/2 cup water to boil in a small sauce pan. Add the quinoa and turn down to low. Cover and let simmer for 8 – 10 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the tuna salad. Drain the water out of the tuna and transfer it into a small bowl. Chop it up with a fork so there aren't large pieces. Add the mayo (or veganaise), dill, mustard, salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Add the cooked quinoa to the tuna salad and set aside.
- Split the spinach between two salad bowls or plates and top with the pea shoots. Add the tuna and quinoa mixture, squeeze a bit of lemon juice and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.