Simple Apple, Pear, Quinoa Salad + Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

freshen up lunchtime with this deliciously simple quinoa and spinach salad with apples, pears, pistachios, and homemade lemon poppyseed vinaigrette. 

simple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing | freshen up lunchtime with this delicious and simple quinoa and spinach salad with apples, pears, pistachios, and topped with a homemade lemon poppyseed vinaigrette. | www.nourishmovelove.com

You guys this salad almost caused divorce fight #2! I shared all the juicy details about divorce fight #1 here; naturally it was over trail mix, ha!

And when I say divorce fight, I’m referring to a term my good friend Abby coined, but it mostly refers to a comical fight between you and your significant other. And although the fight seems very serious at the time, when you look back at it you both laugh over how ridiculous it was in the grand scheme of things. But for some reason it’s a story that never quit goes away — so it’s your divorce fight.

Anyways, I was making this salad for a little get-together and I had to run to Target quick to get some final ingredients. I filled up the target cart {with more than expected per usual} and as we were checking out noticed Tim, my hubby, was a bit irritated. He was overly quite as we loaded up the car and headed home. So I asked what was wrong and he turned to me with smoke blowing out of his ears and proclaimed, ‘You just spent $12.99 on a bag of pistachios!’

I couldn’t help but giggle a little inside as I’m willing to spend much more than the average person on nuts; I love nuts, they’re my go-to snack! But I tried to act very serious and half-heartedly apologized for this major offense. But I must be fair, to my husband’s defense we did just purchase a house so money is a little {or a lot} tight around the Bomgren household {and I do spend a ridiculous amount of money on food – I blame Whole Foods Salad Bar for most offenses}!

All that said, I really do think the pistachios are a key ingredient to the salad, but if they’re a little too steep for your pocketbook you can always sub them out for another nut to add the crunch factor. 

simple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing 

simple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing | freshen up lunchtime with this delicious and simple quinoa and spinach salad with apples, pears, pistachios, and topped with a homemade lemon poppyseed vinaigrette. | www.nourishmovelove.com

It’s a simple and fresh salad for anytime of year. Of course you can swap out the pear and apple for other seasonal fruits pending the time of year, but I really like this pear and apple combo. It’s just the right amount sweet to tart and then the lemon poppyseed dressing adds just a tiny bit creaminess.

And the best part is you can throw the salad together and mix the homemade dressing all in 20 minutes or less. You can also prep a large batch of the salad and dressing to have on hand for prepped-lunched throughout the week {that’s how I like to do it}.

simple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing | freshen up lunchtime with this delicious and simple quinoa and spinach salad with apples, pears, pistachios, and topped with a homemade lemon poppyseed vinaigrette. | www.nourishmovelove.com

The salad is made up of 6 simple ingredients — quinoa, spinach, apple, pear, pistachios, red onion and optional goat cheese crumbles.

And don’t be intimidated by the homemade poppyseed dressing. It’s a mere 4 ingredients — fresh lemon, olive oil, dry mustard and poppyseeds.

simple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing | freshen up lunchtime with this delicious and simple quinoa and spinach salad with apples, pears, pistachios, and topped with a homemade lemon poppyseed vinaigrette. | www.nourishmovelove.com

I prefer to bulk-prep a large batch of quinoa for the week so I can pull this ‘working lunch’ together in 5 minutes or less. And you can always top this salad with some grilled chicken, hard or soft boiled eggs to add a little extra protein or turn lunch into dinner.

simple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
freshen up lunchtime with this delicious and simple quinoa and spinach salad with apples, pears, pistachios, and topped with a homemade lemon poppyseed vinaigrette.
Author:
Recipe type: salad
Serves: 3-5
Ingredients
  • salad ingredients:
  • ½ c red or plain quinoa
  • 1 c water {or nut milk}
  • 5-10 oz spinach {or ½ to full 10 oz. bag of spinach}
  • 1 large apple {I used pink lady}
  • 1 large pear
  • 1 c shelled pistachios
  • ¼ c red onion, chopped
  • optional: ¼-1/2 c goat cheese crumbles
  • lemon poppyseed dressing ingredients:
  • ½ lemon, juice of {optional add a little lemon zest too}
  • ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • sea salt and/or ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by rinsing the quinoa in cold water.
  2. Combine the quinoa and water {or option to use nut-milk to add a more nutty flavor} in a small pot over high heat on the stove. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover the pot.
  3. Cook until all of the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa has a nice fluff to it. About 20 minutes.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, prep the other ingredients.
  5. Start with the dressing; whisk together the fresh lemon and optional zest, olive oil, dry mustard, poppyseeds and salt/pepper.
  6. Prep the salad ingredients. Slice the apple and pear into thin slices.
  7. Then toss all the salad ingredients together -- adding the cooked and cooled quinoa to the spinach, sliced apple and pear, chopped red onion and top it all with pistachios and optional goat cheese.
  8. Add the desired amount of dressing and enjoy!
Notes
*I like to bulk-prep a large batch of quinoa for the week so you can toss this salad together in 5 minutes or less.
**Turn this into a mason jar salad and add the dressing right before eating.
***If you need more protein add grilled chicken, soft or hard boiled eggs.
****The homemade dressing will last in the fridge for up to one week.

So I must know, do you have a divorce fight that constantly gets brought up that you giggle about?! I want to hear all the juicy details in the comments below!

pin this simple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing 

simple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing | www.nourishmovelove.comsimple apple, pear, quinoa salad + lemon poppyseed dressing | freshen up lunchtime with this delicious and simple quinoa and spinach salad with apples, pears, pistachios, and topped with a homemade lemon poppyseed vinaigrette. | www.nourishmovelove.com

6 comments
  1. Now this is a salad! It looks filling as well. I strongly dislike salads that leave you hungry 5 secs after you are done!

    • Right?! Hearty salads are my jam, and this one is guaranteed to fill you up and you can always add some grilled chicken, hard or soft boiled eggs if you need a bit more protein!!!

  2. YUM!! This literally looks SO good! What a bright, balanced and beautiful salad! And oh my gosh girl! I’m right there with ya! While I didn’t just buy a house, I do spend a ridiculous amount of money on food LOL… and I, too, blame Whole Foods salad bar!! It’s SO good!! (…but my wallet doesn’t seem to think so!) Haha, hope you’re having a great week!
    xoxo Cailee!

    • Ok I’m glad I’m not alone spending way too much $$ on food, especially Whole Foods Salad Bar (it’s my favorite place to ‘eat out’ at)! My husband is excited for us to move farther away from Whole Foods, right now I can walk there — so dangerous (but soo good)! Ha! xo-Lindsey

  3. Do you have any great tips on how to rinse quinoa? I’ve tried to make it once and felt like it was a huge mess. That has kept me from trying it again. Thanks!

    • Jenna! Great question — I use a mesh strainer and run the quinoa under cool/cold water while I mix the quinoa around with my hands. You can also put the quinoa in a large bowl and fill it with cold water. Stir it around a little with your hands. Pour the water off the top and add more, until the water doesn’t look foamy. To pour the water off, hold a plate against the bowl so you don’t lose the quinoa as you pour. If this all seems like too much for you, you can purchase pre-rinsed quinoa. In fact, most boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed!

      Why should you rinse quinoa in the first place? Well rinsing removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy.

      Hope that helps Jenna and I would say give it another try it’s a great grain to use as a rice substitute or to add some bulk to salads and lighter dishes!

      xo-Lindsey