Lemony Quinoa with Pine Nuts and Spinach


By Elise Museles of Kale and Chocolate

Quinoa is the only plant-based food that has all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. In addition to being gluten-free, quinoa is high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. Spinach and parsley enhance the nutritional benefits of this dish, and the lemony dressing seals in the delicious combinations of flavors. This is a great go-to way to serve quinoa since it’s easy to make, and it tastes amazing!


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water (or use 1 cup vegetable broth and 1 cup water for additional flavor)
  • Sea salt
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cups raw spinach, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • In a small pot, add quinoa, water and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, slice the spinach & parsley, toast the pine nuts, and grate the lemon zest.
  • Let the quinoa sit covered for an additional 5 minutes before removing the lid. Allow the quinoa to cool slightly (at least 20 minutes) before transferring to a serving bowl with toasted pine nuts, lemon zest and parsley. Place the sliced, raw spinach on top of the quinoa mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Slowly add in olive oil to form an emulsion. Pour the dressing to the top of the quinoa bowl making certain to moisten all the ingredients. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  • Serve this nourishing and delicious dish slightly warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 Servings