Meatless Monday: Valencia Orange, Quinoa and Spinach Salad

I love buying oranges this time of year.  They are so good, fresh and juicy, and bring a measure of brightness to the dullness of winter.  This salad is exceptional as it highlights the orange so well.  It incorporates all parts of the orange, zest, juice and flesh.  The quinoa adds protein to the salad which ends up being very filling considering the large portion.  I served this alongside some crostini made with a purchased calamata olive baguette and jarred artichoke bruschetta topping.  Recommended wine pairing:  MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris.

My question to you is this: How do you get through the short cold days of winter?   What techniques and tricks do you use to add brightness to your meals, home, and life this time of year?


Valencia Orange, Quinoa and Spinach Salad
Prep time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 2 as main dish
  • 3 large valencia oranges
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa cooled
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ½ red onion sliced thin
  • ⅓ cup avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • kosher salt
  1. With microplaner zest oranges and reserve.
  2. Juice one orange and reserve.
  3. For the other 2 orange prepare as follows.
  4. Cut top and bottom of peel off the orange then place orange on cutting board with one of the cut sides down.
  5. Using knife remove peel from entire orange making sure to leave no pith of the peel behind.
  6. Holding the orange in the palm of one hand, remove the sections of the orange using knife with other hand. Place the knife on the inside of each section of the membrane until the juicy orange section is released from membrane.
  7. Continue this technique around the whole orange until all sections are removed. Repeat with the second orange. Set sections aside.
  8. Prepare dressing mixing ⅓ cup avocado oil, ⅓ cup reserved orange juice, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp of orange zest and salt to taste. Set aside.
  9. Assemble salad mixing baby spinach, orange sections, cooled quinoa, and onion slices, and additional zest as desired.
  10. Serve with dressing.


Cooks note:  Heres is an excellent pictoral reference on how to section an orange to those of you out there that are visual learners like me.

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