28 May 2018

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

At the beginning of this year, a high school aged friend of ours decided to go vegan. We invited her and her mom, whom we know from an organization in town, over for vegan dinner. Her mom was very supportive of her daughter's plan to be vegan, but didn't quite know what to cook for her when she was also cooking for her 11 year old son, 4 year old daughter, herself, and her husband. We figured that we could invite them over and answer vegan food questions while also providing an example of a delicious vegan meal.

In asking what they'd like to eat, they said they were pretty open to flavors, so we chose to serve one of Shana's favorites - broccoli, tofu, and garlic sauce. They asked what to bring and we suggested "something that goes with dinner?" In other words, we were super unhelpful. However, our friends rose the challenge and brought a delicious Asian quinoa salad! Overall, dinner was a giant success. We answered all sorts of vegan-related questions, laughed a ton, and ate amazing food.

Since our dinner, we've eaten this salad a few times. I tweaked the original recipe, found at Two Peas & Their Pod, to make it more our style - doubling some veggies, removing some ingredients, and adjusting the dressing. It's SO delicious! It's also great for the unseasonably hot temps we've been experiencing - when I just don't want to eat anything. This salad has tons of protein and fiber and is a feast for your eyes as well.

Rainbow Quinoa Salad
1 c. tri-color quinoa
scant 2 c. water
1 c. cooked edamame
2 c. shredded purple cabbage
1 c. shredded carrot
1 red pepper, diced rather small
3 scallions, sliced thinly
1/2 c. lite soy sauce
2 T. unseasoned rice vinegar (up to 1 T. seasoned)
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. sesame seeds
1 tsp. sriracha sauce

1. Rinse the quinoa under running water. Then, in a small pot, combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then partially cover, cooking until all the water is absorbed. This will take approximately 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook the edamame according to package directions and shred/cut the cabbage, carrot, red pepper, and scallions.
3. Combine the soy sauce, unseasoned rice vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and sriracha sauce in a jar with a tight fitting lid, shaking to combine (or whisk together in a bowl).
4. One the quinoa is done, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Helpful Hints
  • You don't need to use tri-color quinoa, but I like the combination (each flavor tastes slightly different). Any quinoa you have or can find will work. 
  • If you'd like to use seasoned rice vinegar (which adds sugar and salt to regular rice vinegar), replace up to half of the vinegar as indicated above. 
  • This can easily be made a day or two in advance of when you plan to eat it. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits in the fridge. That makes this perfect to prepare in advance for a quick dinner or to bring to a picnic. 

The post "Rainbow Quinoa Salad" first appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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