Spring Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad in a clear mixing bowl with two wooden spoons.

Freshy fresh in my mouth! Sometimes salads can be so so good.

This week it was my birthday! Wait, did I already say that? I think I might have also already mentioned that special love that I have for pressies and gifts and pretty things with bows on them. I am so lucky because I got to have three little birthday shindigs – one with my family, one with Bjork’s family, and one with Bjork. Romantical birthday dinner dates are his specialty.

But then something not so lucky called I logged into Amazon two days before my birthday happened. Nononononono. Sometimes it’s like my brain is not even on.

How To Make Our Spring Quinoa Salad:

Green peas on a wooden spoon and in a colander.

Right there at the top of the order history was this gorgeous new Canon lens burning a hole through the screen. Mmk, let’s think this through. We share an Amazon prime account (♥) so our purchases are listed together. I did not order a lens, and Bjork did not tell me he ordered a lens. My birthday is in two days.

So then I have to either a) jump up and down on the couch to express my joy about this most awesome ever gift, or b) cry, because I love love love surprises and my birthday surprise is not going to be a real surprise. I went with option A because A NEW LENS!

Bjork knew that I knew, but obvi he still wrapped up the present and let me open it on my real birthday because he’s sweet like that.

Herbs on a cutting board.

So here is the debut of the new lens with this spingy quinoa salad and honey lemon vinaigrette! I am kind of paranoid to tell you that this is its debut because I took these photos in such a pre-salad-eating hungry girl flurry. I love two or three of them (and a few of my unpictured practice shots) aaand the other ones are sort of struggling to get by thanks to my Minnesota nasty weather late afternoon light. But regardless of the light, I knew right from the first shot that I was going to like this lens. I literally I took one single photo of a lemon on the wood table and birthday-present-screamed to Bjork into the other room: OMG I LUV IT!!!!!!

Thank goodness none of the rest of you have to live with me. Up down and all around.

Quinoa Salad in a clear mixing bowl with two wooden spoons.

For you photography peeps who like to know all the techno-details, this is a Canon 2.8 100mm lens.  I have a Canon 7D and up until now I was using a 50mm 1.4 (which I also lovey) but sometimes I like to get in really obnoxiously close to the food so you feel like it’s right up in your face. And this lens is how I’m going to be able to make that happen! I have a lot to learn about photography in gen and also about using this lens. And I couldn’t be more excited. Learning is good.

Rah rah for birthday gifts that inspire learning!

Rah rah for salads that taste like a fresh party! Think about these ingredients for a second: quinoa. peas. feta. bacon. fresh basil. fresh cilantro. almonds. honey lemon vinaigrette.

Quinoa Salad in a bowl with drizzle.

Now think about yourself eating those ingredients and feeling healthy and happy and full. I can imagine this easily because it’s all I’ve been eating in the last 24 hours. Tossed with some spinach and a handful of good crackers (okay fine sweet potato chips) and BAM. Power meal.

How many hours till lunch?

Quinoa Salad in a bowl.
A picture of Spring Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Spring Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette


This Spring Quinoa Salad has quinoa tossed with peas, fresh herbs, feta, bacon, and almonds, plus a homemade Honey Lemon Vinaigrette.


For the salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 23 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil and cilantro
  • 1/2 cup almonds, pulsed in a food processor until crushed

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (12 large juicy lemons)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • a few tablespoons honey (I did 3, but adjust to taste)


  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. I make this the night before and let it chill in the fridge so it separates better for the salad.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and then turn off the heat. Add the peas and cover until bright green. I do this instead of regular boiling so they don’t get wrinkly! Toss the quinoa with the peas, feta, bacon, herbs, and almonds.
  3. Puree all the dressing ingredients in the food processor. Toss the dressing with the salad ingredients. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve tossed with fresh baby spinach, on crackers, or just by itself!


The tossed salad can be kept for up to two days without getting weird – it actually soaks up the dressing, and it works great to toss the leftovers with fresh greens. Also, in my opinion, you can never have too much fresh herb-age and mint would be a great addition.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: quinoa salad, healthy salad, salad recipe, spring salad

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It’s Wednesday! Baby steppin’ our way to the weekend.

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