Ummm hi. I’m recovering from a food coma — a deep and scary one. I guess that’s what happens when you attend food conferences in a city where there is magical Mexican food.

I can’t even think of anything except salad right now! I need it. Because apparently I think that it’s okay to eat ice cream sandwiches the size of my face, buttery muffins for breakfast, and ohhh I don’t know about a million peanut butter m&ms (give or take a few).

I’ll be paying for my decisions for the next week; however, with salads that include strawberries, goat cheese, quinoa, and crunchy sunflower seeds; I’m not sure I mind too much. Especially when it’s tossed in my absolute favorite lemon dressing.

I would have to say that this salad is absolutely perfect for summer. It’s slightly sweet, but oh so fresh! Often times I add chia or poppyseeds to the lemon dressing for a little fun crunch and extra nutrition. The goat cheese adds in a nice tang and along with the dressing, I found it to be irresistible! The sunflower seeds are different and lovely, but you can use pecans if you’d like.

Other optional add-ins that I’d suggest: chickpeas or pulled chicken breast. You can serve this over spinach and pack it for your weekly lunches.

Anyway enjoy the goodness. I’ll be back soon with a recap of the food conference.


Fresh Strawberry Basil Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese, Sunflower Seeds & Lemon Vinaigrette
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6
  • Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 228
  • Fat: 13.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.3.g
  • Sugar: 3.3g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Protein: 9.4g
Recipe type: Quinoa, Salad, Healthy, Gluten Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A fresh gluten free strawberry summer salad packed with protein from quiona. Garnished with crunchy sunflower seeds, basil, and creamy goat cheese.
  • 3/4 cup organic quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cups quartered strawberries
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (about 5-6 leaves)
  • 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds (I buy mine from Trader Joe's)
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • For lemon dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 1 large basil leaf, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
  2. To make dressing: place olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sugar/honey, basil, and salt in blender or food processor. Blend/process for 10-15 seconds; fold into quinoa.
  3. Gently fold in strawberries and basil and any other add-ins you'd like such as chickpeas or chicken. Add salt or extra basil to taste. Place salad in refrigerator for few hours to let flavors marinate together. Once ready to serve, garnish salad with goat cheese, sunflower seeds and extra basil. I serve mine over a bed of spinach. Enjoy!
Dressing adapted from my lemon dressing
The salad is better the longer you marinate it in the fridge, just wait to add the goat cheese and sunflower seeds.