Quinoa, Carrot, and Spinach Salad with Spicy Carrot Chili Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings; dressing makes about 1 cup

For the Spicy Carrot Chili Vinaigrette Vinaigrette:
    • 1/2 cup carrot juice
    • 2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • 1 pitted Medjool date
    • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • Dash cayenne pepper
    • 1/3 cup avocado or olive oil
For the Salad:
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 medium or small carrots, tops trimmed and skins peeled off
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  1. To make the dressing, place the carrot juice, vinegar, lime juice, date, salt, and chili powder in a blender and blend till smooth. With the motor of the blender running, drizzle in the oil, until the dressing is creamy and emulsified. Set the dressing aside.
  2. To make the salad, preheat your oven to 400F. Rinse the quinoa through a fine sieve until the water running through it runs clear. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan, along with two cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the quinoa and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, cover it again, and let it rest off the heat for five minutes before setting it aside.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, toss the whole carrots in the oil and cumin powder. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle them generously with salt. Roast the carrots for twenty minutes, or until they're browning, stirring halfway through.
  4. To prepare the salad, place the cooked quinoa, baby spinach, and chickpeas into a mixing bowl. Toss them together with about half of the dressing. Check the salad for seasoning and add more dressing (as well as a dash of salt, if desired). Divide the salad onto plates and top each with three roasted carrots and a sprinkle of cilantro. Alternately, you can chop the roasted carrots and toss them in the salad along with the other ingredients. The salad will keep overnight in the fridge. The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to a week.