Quinoa Salad with Spring Vegetables

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by Betty Lee

WCNC.com

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Quinoa Salad with Spring Vegetables - serves 5 - 6

This is a simple and delicious side salad and because it is high in protein, can be a satisfying light main dish as well.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed under cold water in a fine mesh strainer, well drained, set aside at least 15 mins while preparing remaining salad components.
1 T peanut oil or other vegetable oil such as grapeseed, sunflower, or safflower
1 T finely diced shallots
1 tsp kosher salt (or ½ tsp regular table salt)
1 ½ cups carrot juice

1 T peanut oil or other vegetable oil such as grapeseed, sunflower, or safflower
1 T finely diced shallots
1 tsp finely minced or grated fresh ginger
1 cup diced (approx. ¼” dice) small firm zucchini
1 cup diced (approx. ¼” dice) small firm yellow squash
1/2 cup diced (approx. ¼” dice) red bell pepper
1 cup 1/3” thick rounds of asparagus
1 ½ tsp curry powder
1 T dry vermouth or sherry
1 tsp kosher salt (or ½ tsp regular table salt)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/3 cup ¼” dice dates or other dried fruit such as cranberries, cherries, etc. 
 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley and fresh basil combined)
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted to light golden brown, set aside till serving time
Dressing:
1 ½ tsp grated lime zest (about 1 lime)
1 ½ T lime juice
2 T lower sodium soy sauce (e.g.Kikkoman green label)
1 T carrot juice
¼ tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp agave syrup (or honey or sugar)

Heat a 2 qt saucepan and add 1 T oil.  Add 1 T shallots and stir till fragrant and just starting to wilt.  Stir in drained quinoa and 1 tsp salt.  Stir until quinoa dries and begins to toast slightly.  Add carrot juice.  Bring mixture to a boil and immediately turn heat down to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.  If after 20 mins.there is a little liquid left at the bottom of the pot, remove cover and continue to simmer on low heat till liquid evaporates.

While quinoa is simmering, Heat a pan on high heat and add 1 T oil.  Add remaining 1 T shallots, ginger. Stir till fragrant and shallots just start to wilt.  Add in the zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and asparagus and curry powder.  Add vermouth, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and cook till vegetables are just barely cooked and still crisp tender.  Add vegetables to the cooked quinoa.  Stir in tomatoes and dried fruit. Toss with dressing.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled (can be made ahead up to 2 days). Just before serving, toss with cilantro and toasted almonds. 

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