This is a quinoa salad I made at the beginning of the year. My son had asked me to make him a salad with carrots and raisins and this is what I created.
This was our first experience with raw kale, and we’re not sure whether we want it in a quinoa salad again. The rest of the salad rocked. I may serve it over Romaine lettuce next time. Or perhaps I will let the kale wilt a bit with the dressing on it before serving.
One great thing about this meal was that I was able to use the safety glove my son gave me for Christmas. Reinforced with steel, this glove protects my hand when I am grating carrots, an activity that has always made B wince to watch me do. I can grate carrots and cheese quickly and safely now, and I am grateful for the glove.
This salad was the also first time I ate shelled edamame, and I enjoyed them immensely. They straddle the line between bean and nut successfully. Delicious. I now keep frozen edamame on hand for all sorts of sweet and savory dishes (like Pineapple Edamame Quinoa).
I am probably using too much dressing on these quinoa salads but I am trying to keep three grown boys (men?) interested in eating at home, so I don’t want to skimp on the flavor. As soon as things get bland or boring around here, they go buy themselves burgers or subs and then they don’t get the benefit of all these fresh vegetables I have been serving.
Carrot Raisin Quinoa Salad with Kale
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
a little salt
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup grated carrots
3-4 cups of kale torn in bite sized pieces (stems removed).
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1 5 oz package of frozen edamame, steamed
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon honey
salt to taste
I brought two cups of water to a boil and cooked the quinoa, ginger, cayenne and a little salt for about 10 minutes. Then I stirred in the raisins and let the quinoa continue cooking another 5 minutes. After 15 minutes total cooking time, I removed from heat and fluffed.
While the quinoa was cooking, I grated the carrots using my safety glove, and then removed the stems from the kale. I chopped up the cilantro and debated adding a cucumber. In the end I settled for microwaving the frozen edamame and decided that was enough variety for one quinoa salad.
I added cayenne to the dressing because the quinoa didn’t seem to have much kick when it was done cooking. Then the dressing had a little too much kick so I added some honey.
The final salad was a festival of flavors – tangy, then spicy, then sweet. It reminded me of many delicious Mexican dishes where every bite is slightly different. Every time you think you’ve tasted the perfect bite, the next one is a little bit different, and a little bit better. This salad played that way off my palate.
This quinoa salad was my first creation of the new year. I have so much fun experimenting with new vegetables and flavors and I hope I inspire you to try something new.
What about you? Have you met any new fruits or vegetables this year? Please comment below about your favorite new foods.
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