Friday, June 27, 2014

Asian Quinoa Salad

Hello Everyone! Sorry for my absence Ive been working two jobs and I've been a lazy cook, to tired to try anything new lol. But my life is normalizing again! Instead of bouncing between my retail job and my office job I was hired as full time at my new office job so now I have a wonderful 9-5 day! Now I'm trying to figure out cheap and quick meals to take to work that will keep me full.  I now have an office job where I can get up and down and munch on things during the day so my goal is to be healthy with my lunch and snack choices. 
I have been wanting to try and cook with quinoa since I had success baking with it in my Cinnamon Quinoa Bake I thought I would face my fear of Quinoa and make something tasty. I had tried making another quinoa salad and it went horribly and I have been shying away from it. It was tasteless and ick. But this one looked amazing! I found the recipe on Two Peas and their Pod website and loved the fun colors. I modified the recipe slightly because I couldn't find bagged red cabbage or carrots for some reason and I didn't want to have leftover salad bits. Anyway... I also added more GINGER! because ginger is amazing. I recommend using grated ginger. I forgot to pick up some fresh ginger and just used powdered ginger which was good, but not as good as the real deal. 




Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa (I used a rainbow variety for some fun color)
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/2 cup chopped cabbage (I used a mixed bag of white/red cabbage, carrots slaw)
1 cup shelled and cooked edamame (Or more if your like me and love edamame)
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup diced cucumber
For the dressing:

1/4 cup lite soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or a little bit more... like I did)
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Add water, quinoa, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15-30 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
2.  Place the quinoa in a large bowl and let cool. (I must emphasize large, I used a medium size bowl and had to switch to my largest bowl so I could have room to mix everything together.) 

3. While it is cooling cut up red pepper & cucumber. Once all your ingredients are chopped up add the cabbage mixture and remaining veggies to the bowl.
4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
5.  Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. 
The salad is good served at room temperature or chilled. I personally like it chilled! 
Let me know what you think and if you made changes to it! I'd love to hear what you did!

Also, I wanted to share this silly picture of my kitten Stanley making sure the food looked ok enough to take photos of. After this he promptly started chewing on my white reflector :) 

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