Spinach and Quinoa Caesar Salad - We are not Martha

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad

July 2, 2015

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Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

Let’s have some real talk for a minute. I’ve been utterly horribly awful about cooking dinner on weeknights lately. I’m such a good meal planner, but then I get home from work and I see my couch and I can’t even imagine spending another hour away from it. Though I’m trying to force myself to be better, I also try to stock my kitchen with “don’t have to cook” meals. And that includes a pizza in the freezer.

My husband and I even have a term for frozen pizzas. We call them “emergency pizzas,” shortened to “emergencies.” I can actually write on our grocery list “emergency” and he knows exactly what to buy (he’s amazing and offers to go grocery shopping quite often!). When we’re having an “emergency” night, it means we can skip the time in the kitchen and spend relaxing time together. And yes, usually the couch, too. And sometimes the Bachelorette (p.s. who’s excited that Bachelor in Paradise is coming back in August??? Sorry…. don’t mind me).

Another thing I try to do is always keep some sort of homemade salad on hand. I can make a salad on a Sunday evening and pack it for work lunches for a couple days or have a ready-to-eat dinner when we need it. These couple do-ahead fixes make me feel a whole lot better about being lazy during the week.

DIGIORNO just came out with their new thin crust pizzas, pizzeria!™ thin, and this makes my husband VERY happy. I only really like thin crust pizza and have never let my husband get in the past. But now? We can both have our way! We recently tried their new Primo Pepperoni pizza since pepperoni is one thing we both agree on.

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

You basically spend zero time prepping it, unless you consider pre-heating your oven heavy work.

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

And if you have that side salad already made, all the better. I think that Caesar salad is pretty much the best pizza pairing ever, so I was thrilled to have this healthy twist ready to go. I replaced the romaine lettuce with chopped spinach and added quinoa and tomatoes. Plus, goat cheese!

Chopped-Spinach-Salad

I’ve made this dressing a thousand times and I’ll probably make it a thousand more. If you’re not a fan of the anchovies, you don’t have to add them, but I promise you that they’re worth it. They just add a ridiculously awesome umami that isn’t fishy at all.

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

This was an incredibly satisfying literally no-work-after-work dinner.

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

And when I say satisfying, I mean it. We actually had  leftovers from the DIGIORNO pizzeria!™ thin pizza… Which means I don’t have to make lunch for work the next day. I think that’s rare to get from a thin crust pizza, so that makes me super happy.

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

And I can spend time with my husband… And finish work stuff. And do some blogging. And watch the 2-hour Bachelorette. Why can’t there be more time in the evenings??

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

I’ve learned to stop feeling bad about not cooking a from scratch dinner every night. I’m at the office for 10+ hours a day, plus commuting time, plus everything else I have going on… So I need to give myself a break. And this is the perfect way!

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

I may look like I was run over by a bus at the end of a long work day, but at least I’m happy??

Pizza-and-Chopped-Spinach-Salad-11-2

What are some of your emergency “I need to relax” weeknight dinners?

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad
 
This take on a Caesar salad has the added health benefits of spinach and quinoa, but all the umami deliciousness.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Ingredients
  • 1½ C cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 5 oz. baby spinach, chopped
  • ½ C sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • Caesar dressing (see recipe below)
Caesar Dressing:
  • 4 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 1½ T fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ T water
  • ¼ C- ½ C extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ C grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Put quinoa, chopped spinach, tomatoes, and goat cheese in a large bowl.
  2. Toss with Caesar dressing until well coated.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
Caesar Dressing:
  1. Put anchovies (if using), garlic, egg yolk, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and water in a blender and process for about 30-40 seconds, until the mixture is smooth.
  2. With the blender running, pour the extra virgin olive oil in slowly, until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Remove dressing to bowl. Stir in the parmesan cheese and ground pepper.

 

Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad -- The perfect pizza accompaniment | wearenotmartha.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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11 Responses to "Chopped Spinach and Quinoa Goat Cheese Caesar Salad"

  1. Pasta is always my quick go to emergency meal 🙂

  2. Barbara says:

    A super salad, Sues. Great in combo with your pizza!
    My last minute go-to? A Lean Cuisine!

  3. We usually have frozen pizza, once in a while, when we go camping. For relax nights I usually have spaghetti sauce in the freezer. It does not take long to cook pasta and defrost the sauce in the microwave.

  4. YUM! This meal sounds delish, the quinoa salad would be such a great side to pizza 🙂

  5. Haha, I think I would freak out if I say “emergency” on my shopping list. But I totally understand what you are talking about.
    My boyfriend refuses to eat frozen pizzas, so my emergency weekday meal is spaghetti and browned butter topped with mizithra cheese (to DIE for!!)
    This quinoa salad looks delicious! I love the spinach and quinoa combo myself, but with goat cheese? Sounds heavenly!

  6. Joanne says:

    Finding a good emergency pizza is really the tough part! But I am totally with having a salad on hand so at least the meal feels semi-homemade!

  7. What a lovely, healthy and flavourful salad! Looks absolutely delicious!

  8. We adore thin crust pizza so thanks for letting us know about this one! Before I met my husband I never liked it but he totally got me hooked lol:) The salad looks delicious as well, a healthy, flavorful touch to round out the meal – thanks for sharing!!!

  9. Sarah says:

    This salad looks great – love the idea of pairing quinoa + caeasar dressing.

  10. Odetta says:

    Yum to this whole dinner!

  11. That salad looks soooo good. I know how it is to be busy and not able to cook from scratch every night. Shortcuts are life savers.

    http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com/

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