I love the Asian flavors in this Asian Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas, Red Bell Pepper, Celery, and Peanuts.
This blog is about the food (and not about me) and I work pretty hard to keep it that way. But since many of you will be seeing this recipe for Asian Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas, Red Bell Pepper, Celery, and Peanuts on Mother's Day, I do want to say a little about my amazing mom, who died far too young and left a hole in the hearts of her children that can probably never be filled. Now I attempt to forget about that hole by spending time with the grandkids and great grandkids my mom never met or didn't get to spend nearly enough time with, and I think often about how blessed we were to have a loving, talented, and generous mom who put her children's needs above her own and literally would have done anything for us. If you're lucky enough to be spending Mother's day with your mom, do everything you can to pamper and appreciate her, because you have no idea how much you'll miss her when she's gone. And if you're a mom yourself, I hope you're having a wonderful day with your kids.
The internet and quinoa were two things my mom never did experience, but mom was a healthy eater who loved vegetables, and I have a feeling she would have liked this salad. Jake and I tested this recipe after a long day of trying other dishes, and it took us two tries to get a dressing we liked, but that didn't stop us both from eating a good-sized bowl of it. The barely-sweet dressing accents the chewy quinoa and crunchy vegetables perfectly, and if you're not a fan of one of the veggies I picked you can certainly substitute others that go with the Asian flavors. Of course, this is my Meatless Monday pick for the week, and this delicious salad is so good no one will ever guess it's vegan.
(To find more meatless recipes click the label Meatless Monday or check Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index. I also share Meatless Monday ideas from other blogs for Meatless Monday at BlogHer, and have a great Meatless Monday Pinterest board.)
Bring 2 cups vegetable broth to a low boil, stir in the rinsed quinoa, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook covered for 15 minutes. Then turn off heat and let it sit for 5 minutes more.
While the quinoa cooks, thinly slice the sugar snap pes and celery, chop the red bell pepper, and slice the green onions. (Chopping by Jake, he is a master!)
Dump the quinoa into a bowl (big enough to hold all the ingredients) and let it cool while you make the dressing.
You can certainly use freshly grated ginger root in this, but for dressings I love this Spice World Ground Ginger Root, found by the Asian foods or in the produce department of many grocery stores.
Whisk together the soy sauce, ginger puree, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and Agave Nectar (or other sweetener) and then whisk in the avocado oil.
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups vegetable stock (I used a 14 oz. can of vegetable broth and added a little water to make 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups diagonally sliced sugar snap peas
1 cup diagonally sliced celery
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup diagonally sliced green onion
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
(This will probably make more dressing than you need, but it's good over rice or cooked vegetables.)
2 T soy sauce (low sodium is fine; use gluten-free soy sauce if needed)
1 tsp. Spice World Ground Ginger Root or grated fresh ginger root
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. Agave Nectar (or other sweetener of your choice)
3 T avocado oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
Put the quinoa in a wire-mesh strainer and rinse well. (This removes a bitter coating on the quinoa.) Bring the vegetable stock to a low boil in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. When it boils, stir in the quinoa, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the pan, and cook 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes more.
While the quinoa cooks, cut the sugar snap peas, celery, and green onions into thin diagonal slices and chop the red bell pepper into small pieces.
When the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork. Dump the cooked quinoa into a bowl (big enough to hold all the ingredients) and let it cool while you prep the other ingredients.
To make the dressing, whisk together the soy sauce, ginger puree, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and Agave Nectar (or other sweetener) and then whisk in the avocado oil. (You can use any neutral-flavored oil if you don't have Avocado oil.) Chop enough peanuts to make 1/2 cup chopped peanuts.
When the quinoa has cooled about 15 minutes, add about 3 tablespoons dressing to the bowl and stir to lightly coat the quinoa with dressing. Stir in the vegetables and chopped peanuts, adding a little more dressing as desired. Serve right away or chill for an hour or two before serving.
This kept pretty well overnight in the fridge, although I thought it was best freshly made.
South Beach Suggestions:
This salad has lots of low-glycemic vegetables, but quinoa is restricted to Phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Wonderful Salads with Quinoa:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette ~ Good Life Eats
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Parsley and Mint ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad ~ Half Baked Harvest
Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, Cucumbers, and Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)