This week’s recipe is one of my favorites from my 21 Day Metabolic Rehab program.

It’s the perfect summer salad, with blueberries and a bright lemon dressing.

My Spinach and Blueberry Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing is light and refreshing, but also satisfying.

You can choose quinoa or lentils for this salad. Quinoa is considered a grain, but is actually the seed of a plant!

Yellow is the most popular variety, but you can also find orange, pink, red, purple, and black quinoa seeds.

When cooked, quinoa is fluffy, with a slight chewiness, and has a delicate, nutty, earthy flavor.

One of the main things to know about quinoa is that it is a complete protein. It contains all of the essential amino acids (these are the amino acids that we must obtain from foods, our bodies don’t make them).

This makes quinoa a great option for vegetarians, or for those meatless Monday meals.

Quinoa is also an excellent source of Magnesium and Manganese and has good levels of Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, and Fiber. You will also get Iron, Phosphorus, Copper, and Zinc.

In addition to all the health benefits of Quinoa, the Blueberries, Spinach, Garlic, and Basil are all loaded with antioxidants and nutrients and have excellent detoxification properties.

This salad comes together quickly – especially when you cook the quinoa ahead of time – and make a delicious lunch or dinner.

Spinach and Blueberry Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

[Serves 4]

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 cups Baby Spinach
  • 2-pint Organic Blueberries
  • 1 cup cooked Quinoa or Black Lentils (Trader Joe’s, and many other grocery stores, have cooked Lentils and Quinoa or you can cook your own. Recipe below)
  • ½ cup sliced Almonds

DIRECTION

Right before serving, mix all ingredients in a bowl and dress.

Dressing

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Zest and Juice of two Lemons
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

DIRECTION

Whisk all ingredients together and dress your salad.

Quick Quinoa or Black Lentils

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Quinoa or Black Lentils, rinsed and soaked in lemon water for 30 minutes
  • 4 cups Water or Vegetable Broth
  • Dash of Salt

DIRECTION

Combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until water is absorbed, 15 – 20 minutes.

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