Sesame Ginger Quinoa Salad

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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:

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Here’s what you need: sesame seeds, grated carrots, shredded cabbage, quinoa, fresh ginger, frozen edamame, bell pepper, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Sesame Ginger Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

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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.
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You can use whatever kind of quinoa you’d like, I actually combined white, sprouted and red together (dude, you know when you have like a tiny bit left of each kind and your pantry is overflowing with 80% empty bags of every kind of quinoa under the sun? Well that is what was happening, so I just threw them all together and it worked like a charm).

Step Three: Meanwhile, whip up the dressing. Whisk together the sesame seeds, rice vinegar, ginger and sesame oil.

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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.
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Throw the steamy quinoa right on top of the veggies.

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Toss well with the dressing to combine.

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So colorful! 😀

Step Five: Enjoy! 😀

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photo 3 (3)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! 😀 😀 😀

With warmth,

L ❤

xoxox

34 thoughts on “Sesame Ginger Quinoa Salad

      • Okay! We can fix this.
        Your quinoa is probably bitter tasting because it still has the saponin, or natural coating, that makes it taste bitter or soapy. You can remove this by rinsing your quinoa just before cooking.
        It may be soggy or grainy because it’s not quite cooked enough. You should simmer your quinoa, while covered, on the lowest heat setting for 15 minutes, remove it from the heat and allow it to stand for 5 minutes (no peeking!). Fluff it with a fork before serving. You should see the tiny spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds – this is what means it is done cooking. If any liquid remains in the bottom of the pan or if the quinoa is still a bit crunchy, return the pot to low heat and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. If you don’t think there is enough water and it’s crunchy, just add a bit more and cook it – you can always drain the excess water away, as long as it’s fully cooked.

        Hope that helps! Let me know what how it goes! I’m rooting for you! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Is it almost spring already? Wow. Time needs to take a chill pill!

    Oh and this dish, mmmmmmm. I love Asian flavors and I adore quinoa. This looks so good. Putting in my recipe bank immediately. Thanks girl!

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  2. This looks like an awesome dish for the spring/summer! I will definitely be trying this out! It seems like a very versatile dish that you could easily swap the veggies out in based on what you’ve got on hand or what you need to use up before it spoils. 🙂

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    • Omg Jennie, maybe you need to come over here just for the vegan treats – I know you saw my supermarket sweep of vegan treats this week on Instagram, it’s a little out of control. Homemade “nice” cream still tastes the best, though! 🙂 And thanks! Let me know what you think!!! 😀 ❤

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      • That’s the plan!! I’ve been to Florida, but New York and LA look amazing for vegan lyf! For now, your instas will have to keep me dreaming 😛 Ah yeah, even though I love sweetness, nothing beats banana nice cream! Of course, it’s down on my work lunch inspo list woo 🙂 ❤

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