Calling all salad lovers!
Today I’m sharing with you my 4th Trader Joe’s recipe redo/copycat. It’s also the 3ooth recipe on the blog, yah! I love Trader Joe’s! You can find me there a couple times a week picking stuff up to cook at home or take on the go. They have some of the best grab-n-go food and I can’t help but add them to the recipe collection from time to time.
Currently, I am crushing on their ‘Super Spinach Salad‘. Not only is this salad vibrant and colorful (it’s like eating the rainbow!) but it’s a healthy, well-balanced meal as well. It starts with spinach, carrots and tomatoes for freshness. Then quinoa, chickpeas and edamame for protein. Toss in a little sweetness with dried cranberries and crunch with a sprinkle of pepitas. Finally, dress it all up with a colorful carrot miso ginger dressing and you’re in for a most interesting and delicious salad. It’s seriously addicting!
You may also like to take a look at the other TJ’s recipes I’ve recreated. My first was this Curried Chickpea Salad which is veganised and inspired from their Curried Chicken Salad. It’s another addicting recipe! Then there’s the Spicy Lentil & Quinoa Wraps with Spicy Tahini Sauce and this Smokey Lentil & Quinoa Soup. Even though I have these recipes in the collection I still pick up the latter two on occasion when shopping. Love them!
I’ve done my best to recreate the original salad by using the same salad ingredients. Everything works together so well that I didn’t want to change it up but you can add or subtract whatever you like. The amounts called for in the salad don’t have to be exact. And if you only have one bean available, edamame or chickpeas, either will work just fine. Sub in golden raisins for cranberries if that works better for you, but do add either of them as they are delicious in the salad.
The dressing was a little trickier but with a few tries I think I came up with a pretty darn good version. In fact, it’s just about perfect in my book! I used a recipe from the NYTimes as my guide. There are many layers, from the nutty and bold toasted sesame oil to the slight zestiness of the ginger & vinegar and of course the miso with it’s own unique flavor. The dressing is what really makes this salad both interesting and amazing! Even if these flavors are new to you, I think you’ll love it as much as I do. I also imagine this dressing pairing well with a simple green salad topped with carrots, cucumbers, edamame/chickpeas and toasted sesame seeds. Simple perfection!
Once your salad is put together, top with the dressing and give a good toss. Wholesome, vibrant and delicious, it’s my kind of wonderful!
SUPER SPINACH SALAD + CARROT MISO GINGER DRESSING
- 6 – 8 oz. baby spinach
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup edamame
- 3/4 cup chickpeas
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 8 oz. grape/cherry tomatoes
Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing
- 1/4 cup neutral oil (grapeseed, peanut or light flavored olive oil)
- 3 tablespoons mellow or sweet miso (yellow or white)
- 1 tablespoon dark/toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped or 1 cup grated
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- water, as needed to thin
Dressing: Place ingredients into a food processor/personal blender and pulse a few times to mince carrots. Scrap down the sides. Blend again until smooth, stopping to scrap down the sides as needed. Taste for flavor adding anything extra you like. For more zestiness, add more vinegar. To thin, add water instead of extra oil, a couple tablespoons should do the trick. To thicken, add more carrots or miso paste.
Serve: Place a large handful of spinach in your serving bowl, top with quinoa, carrots, edamame, chickpeas, cranberries, pepitas and tomatoes. Add the dressing over top. Either enjoy as is or give the salad a good toss.
Store any leftover dressing in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days. Dressing can be made ahead of time.
Try using less less oil when preparing the dressing. When adding the neutral oil, use 2 – 3 tablespoon and 1 – 2 tablespoons water, any ratio that equals about 1/4 cup.
If you only have seasoned rice vinegar on hand, omit the maple syrup.
If you don’t have both edamame and chickpeas, use one or the other but do make sure the amount is equal to 1 cup.