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Red Quinoa Salad

December 25, 2012

DECEMBER 24th, 2012 — This year I prepared about 2/3 of our family’s Christmas spread (just for 5 people), which included 2 side dishes, a main, and a dessert. It’s actually pretty difficult to cook for my family since a lot of what I do is experimenting with new flavors, ingredients, and cooking methods, which are utterly foreign to both my parents. (They thought I was a weirdo when they saw me picking out kale at the grocery store.) This salad was a hopeful attempt to introduce them to how I’ve tried to include some of these ingredients into a more healthful diet.

The inspiration for the ingredients, yes, was helped in part by trying to align myself with a Christmas theme; hence, the iconic colors of red and green featured in the 4 primary ingredients.

So what did you do?
I first prepared the quinoa. I bought a sack of organic red quinoa from Trader Joe’s, and simmered 1 cup dry quinoa in some lightly salted water (with no added oil or butter). It’s supposed to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until you can see the yellow “germ ring” surface from the quinoa grains.

Then I chopped and blanched some thin[ner] asparagus spears in some lightly salted water as well–around 16 oz. of asparagus.

When those have cooled, fold in edamame seeds (roughly 12 0z.) and uncooked, halved cherry tomatoes (roughly 12 0z.), with plenty of cracked black pepper, salt, and dried dill (probably my favorite herb) to taste!

Quinoa Salad - Xmas WideI then finally drizzled in some light champagne vinaigrette that was in our fridge on top. If you want to be extra fun, you could puts some slivered almonds. I think if you add some sort of other vinegar to the mix, (I’m thinking red wine or apple cider vinegar), that would also work really well.

Lessons learned?
Make sure you cook the quinoa on low heat. When you see the translucent white insides of the quinoa burst from the shells, you know you’ve gone too far.

Tastes great and light, and will keep for quite a while. This is a great lunchbox recipe. I made a TON with these quantities of ingredients. When I make this when I’m in school, I anticipate being able to feed myself for a week.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Y. Tsai permalink
    January 31, 2013 7:40 AM

    Thanks for the post. Might change a few seasoning and herb to suit my taste. I am allergic to dill and anything on the acidic side. Switch the young soy bean to red kidney beans and then switch the color scheme.

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