Monday, 25 June 2012

Asian-Inspired Quinoa Salad

Last week I was on my own with the kids which doesn't happen very often.  Brad had to go to Romania on business for a week leaving me and my young humans to fend for ourselves.  With the kids in school I have to admit that it was a fairly easy week for yours truly.  I thought I'd use this time to paint a piece of furniture for my family room that I've been itching to DIY since last fall.  This paint job was no ordinary task for me because A) I'm not patient and do not like to wait the allotted time for the paint to dry/cure.  B) I tend to start projects and then let Brad finish them off (which was not happening with him at work in Romania) C) I have the attention span of a gnat so I feared that I'd get half way through and see something sparkly and forget my goal.

I'm happy to report that none of those things happened!  I stayed on course and painted my piece while boppin' to music or laughing to comedian Bill Engvall on my iPhone and I got 'er done!  Yay me!  Now all I have to do is let the paint cure a bit more, put on some polyurethane and take some pictures to show you all. 

Showcasing my mad talent with a paint roller got me thinking that while Brad and Boy 1 are canoeing this summer I may paint our bedside tables to surprise Brad and put a smile on his face.  By surprise I mean do it behind his back so he can't say 'Let's not!" and by smile on his face I mean a sigh of resignation (although inwardly happy that he didn't have to do it himself).  Fifteen years of marriage, you get to know a person.  This was a win-win covert operation!

Anyhoo, the point to this post?  My man was gone for a week.  When Brad is gone I don't have the urge to cook big meals because, let's face it, the kids just don't appreciate a nice salmon dinner or roasted chicken.  Given the choice they'd rather have breakfast every night for supper.  I get high fives if I let them just have cereal, fruit and yogurt for supper.  Who are these kids anyway?!?

After a few days of eggs, bacon and the occasional grilled cheese and homemade macaroni I had a hankering for something healthier in m'belly.  Something that I could eat for lunch that would fill me up and prevent me from having a scorching case of scurvy.  I've been wanting to increase my quinoa repertoire so I jumped online and found a recipe on Weight Watchers.  Check out the beautiful colours of these veggies!!

Normally I'm not a big 'low fat' diet kind of girl but I have to say that I was really, really impressed with this salad.  This salad was fantastic!!  At first I was skeptical that this wee bit of dressing would be enough for a fairly big bowl of quinoa and veggies but Weight Watchers surprised me.  A little goes a long way and I loved how I'd get a hit of orange from the marmalade every so often.  This salad is definitely a keeper and will be made again soon in this house.

1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water (or a combo of the two)
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (see Note below)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp orange marmelade
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup uncooked sugar snap peas - trimmed and cut in half
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 small sweet red pepper, sliced thinly
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional - I left this out)
2 tbsp green onion (or scallions), thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

In a small saucepan, combine broth and quinoa; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make dressing -- in a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, marmalade, oil, ginger and salt; set aside.

After quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, toss in snap peas to partially steam them; cover and simmer until most of liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in carrots, cabbage, peppers and dressing; mix to thoroughly combine. Garnish with cilantro (if using), green onions/scallions and sesame seeds. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

Note: Before cooking your quinoa look on its box and see if it's been "prerinsed".  If not, rinse your quinoa under cold water before cooking it to remove the bitter outer coating.

Tip: To save time a prepackaged coleslaw mix (or even a broccoli slaw mix) can be used in place of the vegetables.

Recipe from:

1 comment:

Jen said...

My kids are the same way - they act like it's the coolest thing on earth if I let them eat sandwiches for dinner. I'm always like, really!? Of all the things I can make, you want sandwiches? Crazy heads...

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