Friday, May 3, 2013

Miso Ginger Quinoa Salad

The arctic north (aka The Pacific Northwest) is thawing out!! I understand that people, actual real people, live in much more north, much more frozen places than me, but this is as frozen and as north as I'm ever going to live, and it's finally warming up! Flowers are blooming, grass is growing, white wine tastes good again. It's a lovely time of year. I made this Miso Ginger Quinoa salad and we ate it with some grilled chicken and some thick slices of grilled pineapple. It was really delicious. And we ate outside - even more delicious!

Miso Ginger Quinoa Salad - recipe adapted from Whole Foods

1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons barley miso paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon flaked red pepper
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 inch grated fresh ginger (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cups grated red cabbage(about 1/2 a small head)
1 cup grate carrots (about 4 medium carrots) 
1/4 cup chopped green onion (about 3 stalks - white and green parts)

Cook the quinoa as directed on the package (1 1/2 cups quinoa, in 2 1/2 cups water) and let it cool on a plate. Here's instructions on cooking quinoa.

In a large bowl, mix together remaining ingredients except the cabbage, carrots and green onions. 

Shred the cabbage and carrots and chop the green onions. Mix the dressing over the veggies and then fold in the cooled quinoa. 

This was a really lovely salad. I really like using quinoa instead of other grains in salads. This salad originally called for rice, but I love the nutrients and flavor of this pseudoceral that is closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds (yeah, I googled!)

A few things about this recipe...

I think this would make an amazing marinade for chicken.

The red pepper adds a little kick to this salad. As you may recall, my fam is super-fans of spicy salads. This is not really spicy, but leave the red pepper out if you like things more mild.

Miso paste is available at Whole Foods. I've eaten a lot of miso soup at sushi places, but this is a new ingredient for me. I don't know the difference between barley miso paste and other miso varieties.  

The whole fam liked this salad.


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