Red Quinoa Salad

June 10, 2009

Flavourful Colourful Healthful

Flavourful Colourful Healthful

I made this for dinner the other night. It’s mouth-puckeringly tart from the juice of two and a half limes, and a little fiery from dried chili flakes. There’s a long list of ingredients, but it comes together quite quickly. One of the ingredients is fish sauce, which lists sugar as one of its four ingredients, so be cautioned if you are completely avoiding refined sugar. There is only 1 tablespoon of fish sauce in this whole salad, so I played fast and loose with the concept of clean eating and used it. If you would like to leave out the fish sauce for any reason — vegetarianism, true clean eating — then replace it with a couple of pinches of sea salt. And, finally, this is a salad, so go ahead and toss in some substitutions.

Serves 6

1 cup red quinoa

1/2 small head of red cabbage, finely shredded, and left to drain in a colander

3 tablespoons, plus an extra drizzle, extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 of a red onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2″ piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, use less if you don’t like it too hot, or leave it out altogether

4 shitake mushrooms, or button, if that’s what’s in your fridge, chopped

1 orange pepper, diced

2 red radishes, thinly sliced

1 juicy, ripe mango, peeled and diced

half a bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped

3 limes — zest and juice of two and a half, the last half in wedges for garnish

1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste, or two pinches of salt to substitute

a few handfuls of fresh salad greens, I used mixed mustard greens

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add the red quinoa and a pinch of salt. Lower your heat and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is absorbed, about 12 – 15 minutes. Turn quinoa out into a large bowl, and spread up and around the sides of the bowl so that it cools quickly. Set aside. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over your red cabbage in the colander and set aside on top of a plate, this will catch the purple juices as they drain off from the cabbage. In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped red onion and sauté for a couple minutes, until it becomes translucent. Now add the chopped garlic and coriander. This is the stage where the air in your kitchen fills with a great and pungent smell, so inhale. Throw in the ginger, chili flakes, and mushrooms, and cook for a little longer, the mushrooms will shrink down some. Remove from heat, and scoop all of this flavour, and whatever oil is remaining, over top of your waiting and somewhat cooled red quinoa. Add, in no particular order, orange pepper, red radishes, juicy mango bits, cilantro, lime zest and most of the lime juice – save a squeeze for your greens – and the fish sauce. Toss. Taste. If you like, add more lime juice and/or fish sauce. Toss your greens with the reserved olive oil and lime juice, and sesame seeds. To plate: pile the greens onto the centre of your plates, top with the red cabbage, and then top all of that with your colourful quinoa and a small, bright wedge of lime.

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5 Responses to “Red Quinoa Salad”

  1. courtney said

    I got served this the other night after a ass kicking at boxing and did it ever do the job of filling me up. It is so good and even better the next day

  2. Jen said

    mmm! I will try this one for sure!

  3. JenG said

    Dawne shared this with me the other day…so fresh and flavourful!

  4. Fi said

    Wow, great content, Dawne! Love the ingredients in this salad. Will have to make it as I try to go down the healthy path too. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. JenG said

    I made this last night for my family…the perfect summer salad – I highly recommend it!

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