Woohooo! Tomorrow is the first day of Spring! It’s finally here! Even though it was 19°F / -7°C with a wind chill of 7°F / -13°C this morning when I went to boot camp (which was beyond epic, and if you want to know why check out my Instagram video of us playing adult Hungry Hungry Hippos at 6 am this morning), I have moved past winter meals and am going straight for the good, warm-weather stuff. Don’t get me wrong; I love stews, stewps and everything in between, but I am ready for some fresh, crunchy, light dishes (also I’ve been eating my weight in vegan So Delicious Coconut Almond Ice Cream Bars, so…yeah). This delicious vegan and gluten free quinoa dish is a spring/summer staple in my kitchen; not only is it SUPER quick and easy (you can whip up this sucker in under 30 minutes), but it’s really quite versatile. It holds its own as the main attraction (you could eat just this and have a pretty balanced meal, which I frequently do on those warm days when you don’t want to actually cook anything), but it also makes a good summer BBQ/party side dish, and the leftovers are phenomenal served over greens (i.e.hello lunch pack!). It’s packed with nutrients too: the brightly colored veggies are full of vitamins and antioxidants, and the quinoa adds an additional protein boost, bringing the final tally up to 13 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber in a single, ~330 calorie serving. And, even though it tastes (almost deceptively) fresh and light, it is still hearty and filling. If you REALLY want to go for it, throw some of my L’s Best Baked Tofu on top, and you’ve got a super protein packed dish – YUM. Also, it’s just like really pretty and nice to look at. Without further ado:
Sesame Ginger Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups shelled frozen edamame
3/4 cup of grated carrots
5 rainbow mini bell peppers, diced (or about one whole bell pepper)
1 cup red cabbage, chopped
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Step One: Get all your veggies ready. In a large glass bowl, place frozen edamame (no need to thaw, simply tossing with the warm quinoa later will do the trick), carrots, peppers and cabbage.
Step Two: Start the quinoa. Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Step Three: Meanwhile, whip up the dressing. Whisk together the sesame seeds, rice vinegar, ginger and sesame oil.
Step Four: Combine. Once the quinoa is done, scoop the warm quinoa over the veggies, and toss with the sesame ginger dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step Five: Enjoy! 😀
YUMMMMM. Season with an extra drizzle of rice vinegar if you’d like, and enjoy! This dish is omnivore approved, I made it frequently over the summer and it was always a fan favorite among friends and family (it was my Go-To “dish to pass” for most of the summer parties I attended). It’s light but filling, and full of good stuff for you. Throw whatever else you’d like in there – steamed asparagus, leeks, zucchini – whatever else you have on hand/think would add some spring flavaaa – it is sure to be delicious. Also, if you’re not a quinoa addict like I am, brown rice is an excellent grain stand-in here. I’m definitely excited for the leftovers later tonight, the cold weather be dammed!
I hope you guys enjoy this dish as much as I did, and I hope you all have a great Thursday! 😀 😀 😀