When we moved to Colorado almost five years ago, my husband forgot to mention one little detail: there were no Trader Joe’s stores in the entire state. Considering 95 percent of my favorite treats come from Trader Joe’s, this may have been enough to give me pause. Luckily, about a year ago, Trader Joe’s finally came to Colorado and I was reunited with my love. This salad is a hack from one of my favorite prepared salads at Trader Joe’s.
What I love about it is that it packs so much texture and flavor into a salad. My husband loves the fact that there are lots of goodies mixed in, so you feel like you’re getting a lot. It worked really well for Cody’s first birthday party because it’s very easy to layer the ingredients and create a beautiful looking dish. It’s also very easy to replenish ingredients throughout the party and keep it looking good. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a closeup of this at the party because as we talked about, I wasn’t quite with it. Next time I make it, I’ll snap one for you, promise.
The below recipe is enough to feed about four people. I doubled it for the party.
Active Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: Big fat goose egg
- 5oz spinach leaves, rinsed
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup shredded carrot (takes about 4 medium carrots)
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 4 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 inch knuckle of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbp rice vinegar
First make your dressing by blending all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth with small chunks. If you prefer a finer consistency, add up to 1/4 cup water.
Next, assemble your salad in layers, starting with the spinach, then carrots, tomatoes, edamame and quinoa. Finish by sprinkling with cranberries and pepitas and serve with the dressing.
For a mason jar version of this salad, layer with the dressing on the bottom, followed by edamame, tomatoes, carrots, quinoa, pepitas and cranberries and finish with the spinach. Delicious!