Christmas Side Dish Recipes: Quinoa Salad With Shrimp and Spinach

iStock 967587286

For the holidays, you likely have several go-to recipes you use every year. For something different when you're considering Christmas side dish recipes, try this quinoa salad with shrimp and spinach. A tasty quinoa side dish recipe gives you a chance to introduce your family to an old grain that is gaining in popularity and offer a healthy alternative to traditional side dishes.

  • 1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Rinse the shrimp under cool running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • 2. Add the shrimp to a nonreactive bowl along with the dill, garlic powder and lemon juice. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until needed.
  • 3. In another bowl, add the quinoa and cover the grains with cold water, stirring once. Drain some of the water and add more until the water no longer looks cloudy. Strain the quinoa through a fine mesh strainer.
  • 4. Spray a deep skillet with nonstick vegetable oil spray and heat it on medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the quinoa. Stir frequently and cook for about two minutes.
  • 5. Add the water or broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover the skillet and simmer the quinoa for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Spread the quinoa out onto a baking sheet to cool briefly.
  • 6. Combine the apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk well. Drizzle the olive oil into the bowl slowly, whisking as you do. Set the bowl aside.
  • 7. Wipe out the skillet, place it on the stove on medium-high heat. Spray the skillet with nonstick spray. Drain the shrimp and add them to the skillet. Sauté the shrimp for two or three minutes on one side, then flip and sauté for another two or three minutes until pink.
  • 8. Core and seed the bell pepper. Dice it into small, bite-sized pieces and add it a bowl with the cooled quinoa and fresh baby spinach leaves.
  • 9. Add the shrimp and toss well. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss again. Serve on individual salad plates.
  • One pound medium shrimp
  • One-fourth teaspoon dried dill
  • One-fourth teaspoon dried garlic powder
  • One tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • One and a half cups water or vegetable stock
  • One cup uncooked quinoa
  • Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
  • Half cup apple cider vinegar
  • Half teaspoon honey
  • Half teaspoon salt
  • One teaspoon ground black pepper
  • One-fourth cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • One yellow bell pepper
  • Four cups fresh baby spinach leaves