Recipe: Asian quinoa chop salad
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup diced red bell peppers (about ½ medium red bell pepper)
1/2 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium-sized carrots)
1/2 cup chopped pea pods (about 8 to 10)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 2 to 3)
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
6 large leaves romaine lettuce or 6 cups mixed greens
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa, stir, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until quinoa is soft and water is absorbed. (If you have a rice cooker, you can cook quinoa as you would cook rice.)
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine red peppers, carrots, pea pods, and green onions. In a medium bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and cilantro. Set aside.
Pour cooked quinoa into a large bowl and let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes (it chills faster in the refrigerator). When the quinoa is no longer steaming, mix in chopped vegetables, and then stir in dressing. To serve, place one large romaine lettuce leaf or 1 cup of mixed greens on a plate, then top with ½ cup of salad.
Note: Quinoa comes in many different colors—white, red, and black are the most common. According to the Whole Grains Council, red quinoa holds its shape best after cooking, so it is especially good for salads. It also adds a vibrant color to the plate, but you can use whichever color you like.
Serves six. Each ½ cup serving and lettuce leaf contains about 100 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 178 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 2 g fiber, and 3 g protein.