Though I tend to be quite organized in most facets of my life, I am a little bit of a trainwreck when it comes to cooking. Like Leslie from Hungry Housewife, I lose recipes, omit ingredients (not on purpose) and leave the kitchen looking like a disaster zone once I've completed a meal.
I whipped up this salad one day after I decided I needed to eat healthier. One too many late night Papa John calls will do that to you. I blame the booze, not my good judgment.
Once I had thrown together a mish-mosh of veggies, grains and seasonings, gobbled down a spoonful and patted myself on the back for a job well done, I just as soon cursed myself, realizing that I hadn't written down a single thing that went into the bowl. Bad blogger!
After another somewhat unhealthy streak of meals, I recreated my quinoa salad and diligently noted each tablespoon, teaspoon and cup that went into this hearty and tasty salad. I love the taste of sesame oil, but if you're not a fan I'd suggest using a little bit less as sesame oil tends to dominate the flavors. Otherwise, dig in like you've been eating too many sweets, pizza, and bread (ahem, ahem...speaking to myself). Quinoa salad is good for you!
As I'm working on getting more organized, I decided I also need to start petitioning Santa Claus for a Lowel Ego light. I took these photos on an overcast day and I hope they don't look too gloomy!
Have a good side dish? Check out October's Monthly Mingle, Sensational Sides, hosted by Ruth and Meeta.
Asian Cucumber Quinoa Salad
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (if you're not a huge fan of sesame oil, I'd suggest using 2 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon hot chili paste with garlic
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 tsp of olive oil
1.5 cups peeled, chopped cucumbers (seeds removed)
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1. Combine all ingredients for dressing in a medium sized bowl. Whisk well and allow to stand
2. Place rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Add a dash of salt and olive oil. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Allow quinoa to cool.
3. Combine vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle with approximately 1/2 of the dressing.
4. Add quinoa and gently stir.
5. Drizzle salad with additional dressing to taste.
6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.