Friday, February 15, 2013

California Quinoa Salad

I just remembered that I still have a food blog.

I still cook, but I rarely remember to take pictures of what I make.  Or I make things like peanut butter and honey sandwiches, broccoli and bananas for dinner.

And I don't think anyone would come to see pictures of that dinner?

Maybe they would.  That might go viral.

I don't even know what I'm typing.  These days, I feel a deep sense of accomplishment when I make it all the way to rest time and the children have been fed and no one is injured.  And no one has colored on the rug I just got back from the dry cleaners.

And then I make it all the way to bed time and collapse from sheer exhaustion.  Please someone tell me you can relate.

On an unrelated note, my new hobby is pinning new recipes while Baby Bear nurses for an hour at bedtime.  He sleeps, eats, snuggles; I feed, snuggle, and Pin.  You know Pinterest?  We're the best of friends.

And Baby Bear and I?  We're a team.

And this salad was one of my finds during a marathon nursing session.  And when I finished, I came downstairs and made this salad.  It was really good.

A few things I need to tell you:
  1. It makes a ton.  Like, invite your whole neighborhood over.  Or just halve the recipe, like anyone with a brain would have done.  As previously stated, my brain only functions part of the time.  I made this entire recipe for myself during one of my non-functioning brain moments.
  2. It's really healthy.  There's no oil or cheese, and I didn't miss it.  That's saying something.
  3. There's crunch from the almonds, sweetness from the raisins and mango, just enough acid from the vinegar and limes, and bite from the onion.  And nuttiness from the quinoa.  Yum.
  4. I had never used balsamic and lime juice together.  I wasn't sure they "went."  They do.  They're good friends.
  5. I am in love with Trader Joe's sweetened shredded coconut.  I can't wait to go back and get another bag.  It's a little drier than regular coconut, and I really loved the texture.  And flavor.  And package.
  6. On that note, I got all of the ingredients from Trader Joe's.  
  7. Basically, I just love Trader Joe's.  I think of it more like a field trip than a grocery store.
  8. This is ridiculously healthy.  You should be proud of me.
California Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Plant Strong

1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups water, for cooking quinoa
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz. bag frozen shelled edamame
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
7 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
1 bunch cilantro, minced
2 fresh mangoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 red or sweet onion, diced
1 1/2 cups raisins
5 oz. package slivered almonds, toasted (about a heaping cup)
Juice of 5-6 limes

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Rinse the quinoa and add it to the boiling water with the salt.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed.  During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add the edamame to the pot and stir.  When the quinoa is cooked and the edamame defrosted, add the balsamic vinegar and stir.  Set it aside to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients.  When the quinoa and edamame are cool, stir them in.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Meagan said...

First off, this was awesome! I will be making this for sure. And second, when I saw the first picture of ingredients I thought, " what a cute coconut bag." No lie!

Elizabeth said...

That's hilarious, Meagan! I bought the coconut for the bag alone...but it really is awesome. :)

Kacey said...

A few things...

1. I can totally relate.
2. We love Trader Joe's (as I think I've mentioned before), and it does indeed feel like a field trip...especially when you're still discovering all their wonderful products. Oh, and if you like coconut, you MUST try their roasted coconut chips (not for your recipe, just for snacking). They're in a white and brown package right next to the lovely shredded coconut of which you speak. It's our new favorite snack!
3. This recipe looks amazing! I'll definitely be trying it!

Elizabeth said...

Kacey, I absolutely love the roasted coconut chips!!! I bought some the day I got the stuff for this salad (because again, I liked the package!) and had to back and get another bag! So good!

I'm definitely still discovering their products...I find so many new things every time I go! Love!

Brynn said...

First of all I just saw this--don't know how I missed it on the email updates but it will be the next thing I make!! It looks amazing and second of all I can't believe my own daughter saw it and didn't tell me?????

Elizabeth said...

Hope you love this, Brynn! Glad you saw it the second time around. :)