Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to Cooking: Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad

    I couldn't resist - another picture of "our" cows.  Dear Daughter can point them out by name.  We have The Triplets, Abigail, Blackie, etc.  Last night during dinner on the terrace, we could hear them munching away.  It is actually quite amazing the distance they cover each day.  Munch and walk, munch and walk, munch and walk - plus the occasional nap.  What a life...

    Now that we are settled, I can move on from "nesting" to working one those "moving" resolutions.   While I believe that our diets are, for the most part, on the healthy side, I want to put more effort in making sure that we are getting a good variety of foods.  I recently read a book called, "The 2 Day Diet" and while I am not big on diets, I did find some compelling information.  The basic premise is eat a very low carb diet for two consecutive  days per week and for the remainder of the week, eat a more of Mediterranean-style diet.  It actually makes pretty good sense and we have been following the pattern now for two weeks.  I am really not sure if we are losing any weight (and if we aren't, it is probably due to the beer that we have - but remember, Belgium has some great beers!).  I do think; however, that we are having a more complete diet.  Another one of my resolutions is to make sure that we are not wasting food.  Food costs are more expensive here, so I really want to make the most of our food dollars (and euros).  This can be hard when a recipe calls for fresh cilantro!  I bought a container of fresh cilantro only to use one tablespoon of it.  Then, what am I to do?  It has a limited shelf-life.  So, I search the Internet looking for other recipes calling for cilantro.  The same goes for green onions...and the list continues.

     I have done a pretty good job thus far, largely due to the fact that I am unemployed and have an abundance of time.  We will see how well I continue this new found trend once school starts (tomorrow) and nightly swim practices interfere with our normal dinner hour (starting Monday).  In the meantime, I found this wonderful recipe on ZipList a couple of weeks ago.  If you have not discovered ZipList, Google-it immediately.  Not only do I find great recipes on the site, but it also can make up my grocery lists and I get a weekly listing of all of the top food recipes from other blog sites.

     I discovered quinoa awhile back and really enjoy it.  It absorbs flavor and is a great source of protein.  This recipe was adapted loosely from one that I found on the blog site - LaaLoosh.  Try it - it is super yummy and just preparing it makes you feel healthy.  And I used the rest of my cilantro and the green onions!

Delicious - Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad

Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup prepared quinoa, cooled (I cook one cup of quinoa in 2 cups of chicken broth to add flavor but if you want to keep the recipe strictly vegan; cook the quinoa in the same amount of water.)

1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup green onions, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, minced


1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (I cheated and used the jarred ginger and it was fine)
1 Tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime
S & P

1.  Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
2.  Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
3.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.


As you know, I am not a huge vegetable person.  If you are, then this recipe is flexible - add the vegetables that you like - perhaps snap peas, etc.

This would make a great side dish or even a main course.  Jazz it up even more and add a few crushed peanuts on top!

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