Friday, October 3, 2008

Asian Cucumber Quinoa Salad, attempt #2

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.


Any Little Reason said...

I can totally relate - I'm constantly asking my husband to help me remember what went into a dish I want to write about!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Oh yes, I'm forgetful about that stuff as well, haha ;0)

Looks like a lovely dish to me!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds so good! What a healthy meal.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Sharon I bought quinoa allready! You've convinced me! I really liked it, so thanks for the inspiration!
I also lose recipes or forget things if I don't write them down imediately!
Nice salad, now I can make it!

Prudy said...

That's on my Santa list too. It's hard for me to remember to write down too. Too left brain for me.

kat said...

My problem is getting my husband to write things down when he cooks, since he's so good at making things up.

I asked Santa for a light too

test it comm said...

I did that a lot when I started food blogging but now I try to write out all of the recipes the week before I make them. I know, I know, it is a bit too structured, but it works for me.

The quinoa salad sounds good! I have really been enjoying using quinoa in salads. Quinoa salads are so easy to make and the quinoa adds a great texture.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I love quinoa salad. This is so healthy fo you.

Andrea said...

I seriously love quinoa and I always appreciate different uses. Thanks for the tasty sounding recipe!

Little Miss Contrary said...

Just wanted to tell you I love your blog. I really enjoy the fact that you always include the recipes to your dishes and lovely pictures. I'm a new fan!

Sharon said...

any little reason - great idea. I'm going to have my husband be the scribe while I cook! :)

veggiegirl - I find myself forgetful about a lot of things!

noble pig - thanks!

clumbsy cookie - I'm so glad you like quinoa. It's so good for you and easily replaces rice or couscous

prudy & kat - let's cross our fingers that Santa's nice to us this year

kevin - Oh, if only I were that organized!

helene - thanks. I've enjoyed experimenting with quinoa in different types of salads

andrea - It's surprising how versatile quinoa is. I put it in cioppino the other day and it was delicious!

little miss contrary - so glad to have you! Thanks for reading and for the kind words

Anonymous said...

this looks really good!

tigerfish said...

I have not tried cooking with quinoa before! :O But I always enjoy the Asian touch in my food.

Laura said...

This looks great--I love this combo of flavors with cucumber.

You should see me trying to remember what I have put into a dish. It's not pretty. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome Sharon. I have been looking for ways to include Quinoa in my cooking, very nice.

grace said...

excellent quinoa usage. :)
and there's nothing wrong with saying hello to papa every so often...

Emily said...

Mmmm, looks healthy and delicious. I still have quinoa I need to use.

Esi said...

I just got the Lowel Ego...I really love it. Hopefully Santa brings it to you :) I am forever losing recipes, not measuring and rarely writing things down. I am trying to keep a little notebook with me at all times which helps a bit. I love quinoa salads and this one looks so great!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Sharon, great to have you over again. I love quinoa so always appreciate a good recipe and this really is a lovely idea! thanks for bringing it along to the MM!

Sophie said...

Gosh, I've missed out! Cucumbers are so delicious and I bet their texture complements that of the quinoa quite nicely :).

Ruth Strong said...

This looks delicious!!!! A great entry to the mingle, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious.. I like quinoa but never tried it in any Asian recipes.

Leslie said...

I am glad I am not the only absent minded cook out there!!!!
Oh and if Santa gets you the LOWEL will have to give him a little something xtra special!!;)
You will love the light!

Rhonda said...

Great recipe. I'd like to share this spinach and feta quinoa lunch recipe with you. It's easy to make. Learn more here. Thanks!