I realized recently that I have been doing a whole heck of a lot of salads lately. Yes, it is summer and I want to fulfill my 'salads of summer' responsibility... who cares that the weather right now in the lovely pacific northwest is as far from 'summer' as you can get. Rain every day, cold nonstop. Yeah. I always say (along with everyone who lives in this area) that we appreciate the rain because when it's sunny for those two days out of the whole year we can really appreciate how green it stays. Blah. I want sun!!!
Ok, back to my salad. This one was another random accident but it's turning out to be one of my favorites. We went to a Stella and Dot party last Wednesday and so I had to come up with a salad. I happened to have everything and a general 'thought' as to what I wanted the outcome to be. It turned out better than I thought too... so good I made it again and brought it to my dad's birthday party yesterday!
1 1/2 cup quinoa (and 3 cups water to boil it in)
About 2 cups greens... I bought the southern greens mix at Joe's and picked all the stems out. If you don't want to get the greens mix, use kale and julienne it into bite size pieces
1 cup matchstick carrots
2 cups cucumber, de seeded, quartered and chopped into small bite pieces
1/2 red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 to 3/4 cup shaved almonds, toasted
For the Dressing:
4 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
5 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes... or more if you like it hot hot hot
Dash thai ginger salt... or plain salt if you don't have it
2 Tablespoons wasabi mustard, or dijon or some other kind of brown mustard
Cook quinoa according to package.
In a shakeable container, add all ingredients for the dressing, cover and shake shake shake!
In a large bowl, break up your greens into small pieces then add carrot. Pour just a little of your dressing over the top and toss. Just a little dressing... you're only doing this so the greens and carrots have time to 'soften' a little before adding the rest of the ingredients.
When your quinoa is done, add it to the greens and carrots and mix. Note: the quinoa is hot so it will soften the greens even more. You can also pour the quinoa on a cookie sheet and let it cool for a few minutes. I did this the second time around because we weren't going to be eating it right away.
To your big mix, now add the cucumber, onion and tomato. Give your dressing a shake and pour it on. Give your salad a good toss, making sure that all the flavors are combined.
Add 'some' of your shaved almonds and toss again. I say some because I hate it when the 'topping' or finished product sinks to the bottom, but I also like to have some incorporated in the salad. This gives you 'incorporation' and some left over for pretties.
I served it in a bowl one night and on a plate one night. It's a beautiful colorful salad with lots of texture and flavor. This would be a great 'ladies who lunch' salad or hearty dinner. Honey loved it and it filled him up. If you wanted to, you could add another protein like tofu or prawns but the quinoa itself is so filling, you definitely don't have to.