Asian Quinoa Salad

If you haven’t already guessed it, I am literally obsessed with quinoa. I love it in anything. Being such a versatile yet yummy grain, it keeps me fuller for longer and always adds a nutty flavour for any meal. Soups, Salads, Sushi – you name it, I’ve quinoa’ed it!

I even once tried to make falafels with quinoa (haha what an experience, hence why there is no recipe on here today). Regardless of previous fails however, quinoa really can be used in anything – cereal, baking, savoury or sweet! As a bonus, it also avoids the term, ‘boring’ health food. It’s not all about carrots and iceberg lettuce in a bowl for this salad, this quinoa fills you up, sustains your hunger, add texture and flavour, all without weighing you down after your meal.

This salad is hands down my favourite way to utilise this low GI grain. I love any asian flavours, and originally I made this salad and added store brought asian dressing to make it so called ‘asian’. Overtime however, I have nailed my asian dressing, and have shared it below for you to use. The perfect balance of spicy, sweet and sour.

Before you go and make this salad, be ready for a colour explosion in your bowl. Not only is this tasty, yummy and full of flavour, but also super colourful and pretty to eat. Perfect salad for warm summer nights, and with the addition of warm tofu pieces or meat protein of choice, would be a wonderful winter evening meal.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, uncooked

2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped red cabbage

1 1/2 cups cooked edamame beans (found at any supermarket, freezer section)

1 red capsicum, chopped

1/2 cup grated carrots

1 cup chopped spinach

1 cup diced cucumber

Dressing
1/4 cup Tamari

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tbsp green onion, chopped finely

2 tsp sesame seeds, black or white

1/4 teaspoon grated ginger

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Method

Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan or pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 7 minutes. Turn the heat lower and allow the pot to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and using a large fork or kitchen utensil, fluff the quinoa to get a light texture.

Note: you can use store brought quinoa cups for this recipe, just make sure you cook quinoa according to package instructions correctly.

Next, place the cooked quinoa in a mixing large bowl and add the chopped red cabbage, shelled edamame beans, red pepper, carrots, cucumber and spinach. Combine well, to ensure all ingredients are dispersed evenly throughout the mix. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl or dressing mixer (I often re-use a small jar), combine tamari sauce, sesame oil, green onions, cilantro, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, ginger, red pepper flakes and salt, and pepper for the dressing. Pour the dressing into the quinoa bowl, coat well, then serve in a large bowl or serving platter.

Enjoy x

 

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