All day yesterday I was looking forward to dinner. It was one of those days where I had decided what I was going to make for dinner, before I had even thought about what to have for breakfast. This obviously lead to high expectations when dinner actually came, but because this recipe was adapted from a recipe on my all-time favourite recipe blog, ohsheglows.com, I knew it would exceed these expectations! I’ve been following Angela’s blog for over a year now, and I have fallen in love with every single one of her recipes that I have tried–and there are still many more I hope to try! This salad recipe is adapted (only slightly) from her Warm Spring Salad. Even though it’s not spring, I came across this recipe and just knew I had to make it for dinner. Maybe eventually I’ll get the hang of cooking in-season…
I changed the dressing to a raspberry-lemon balsamic vinaigrette because I had just bought some fresh raspberries from the farm (yum!), and the dressing turned out super spectacular! I was really impressed at how easy and simple, yet so flavourful it was. I thought the raspberries complemented the strawberries nicely in the salad, and the lemon added a subtle tartness, which was also quite nice. I also used edamame beans instead of peas, red onion instead of leek, and served the entire salad mixture cold over a large bed of spinach, instead of hot out of the pan. This salad easily wins the salad of the week award!
Warm Spring Salad Served Cold
Makes Two Large Servings- With Leftover Dressing
For the Dressing
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 tsp agave nectar, or liquid sweetener of choice
For the Salad
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
15 asparagus spears, lightly steamed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
10 fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 medium-sized red onion, sliced
1/2 edamame beans
4 cups baby spinach
1. Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, asparagus spears, strawberries, red onion, and edamame beans until well mixed.
3. Split quinoa mixture over 2 plates, each with 2 cups of baby spinach.
4. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of dressing and enjoy!
I’m one of those people that use their fridge for inspiration. I’m constantly reading recipes, but I find when I’m actually getting around to making a meal, the outcome will be determined by what’s in my pantry or fridge right now, not what could be if I spent the 20 minutes to go to the grocery store and pick up some extra ingredients. Sometimes it’s great and works wonders! But other times it just results in an incomplete, lazy flunk that’s missing 5000 things.
So today I opened my fridge and my hungry eyes immediately focused in on 3 things: lime, kiwi, and mango. Yummm. Perfect ingredients for a fun, summery tropical dish! With the addition of coconut and cilantro all mixed up with quinoa and chick peas, seriously what could go wrong? And so the Tropical Dream Quinoa Salad was invented, and oh so very enjoyed :-)
Quinoa salads are the new thing recently, and I’ve gotta say it’s making me quite happy! There are endless possibilities and so much room to be creative when working with quinoa, and its packed with all sorts of nutritional benefits. The nutty flavour of the quinoa combined with the tropical fruits and coconut in this recipe just made my taste buds scream with joy! Now all I need are some sunglasses, a beach chair, and my own personal island in the Caribbean and I’m set! Oh and maybe a massage, that would be nice too.
Tropical Dream Quinoa Salad
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup water
1 medium-sized mango
1/2 can no salt added chickpeas
4 tbsp fresh cilantro
juice of one lime
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
4 tbsp chopped red onion
1. Bring water to a boil, then add quinoa and reduce to low heat to let simmer for 1012 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, peel and chop up mango, kiwi, and red onion and place into a bowl.
3. Fluff quinoa with a fork, and combine with chopped ingredients.
4. Add chickpeas and tbsp coconut and gently stir until mixed.
5. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and additional coconut.