I know it is Friday and if I make a post on Friday I usually post a Fattening Friday recipe but I think the Vegan Doughnuts were fattening enough for a few Fridays!!
This is my new favorite salad! I have made it a couple times a week for the past few weeks. My teen daughter is also in love with it and since it is so healthy I’m happy to have found a new family favorite. It has a light and tangy dressing that is fat free unless you want to add a Tablespoon of sesame oil but it really does not need it. It is very filling and satisfies the need for a hearty meal but also for a sweet one too.
A few weeks back while my little one was sick and I was pinned to the couch with his head in my lap I decided to look through some of my old vegetarian cookbooks. I found one that was published by Pillsbury and is one of the kind you see at the check out stands all the time. I honestly have not seen a vegetarian one there for more than 10 years! I figured maybe I could veganize some of the old recipes I used to like. The funny thing was my tastes have changed so much since then that I actually looked at recipes I once thought looked gross because they did not have cheese in them.
I found a recipe that was already vegan but was very high in oil and had some ingredients I did not want to add so I changed it up a little and even doubled a few things. I honestly don’t know all the legality’s behind when a recipe becomes your own so I will include the name of the book I found it in. I’m sure it is out of publication at this point and it does not have an author other than Pillsbury. The name of the book is “Easy Vegetarian Meals” and it was published in 1998 by The Pillsbury Company.
FYI, this is a make a head salad that will take only about 30 minutes to make but should be cooled for 30 minutes to an hour so the quinoa is not sticky. It can be slightly warm but freshly cooked it is too sticky and cooling makes it more fluffy (in my experience).
Quinoa Mandarin Salad
Serves: 4 large
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 (11-oz) can mandarin orange segments, drained, reserving the liquid
1 package (approx 6 oz) fresh snow pea pods, trimmed, and cute in half diagonally
1/3 cup sliced green onions
Leaf lettuce of your choice
Toasted sesame seeds or almonds
2 Tablespoons sweetener of your choice (sugar or agave work the best)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons plain rice wine vinegar
2 or more Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
Add enough water to the reserved mandarin orange liquid to make it 2 full cups. In a medium saucepan, combine quiona and orange liquid mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and simmer about 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it cool completely with the lid off.
While quiona is cooking steam the pea pods in a couple of Tablespoons of water for about 5 minutes until desired crispness. Drain water off and set aside.
While the above 2 things cook combine all the dressing ingredients in a container with a lid, shake well and refrigerate until serving time.
Once quinoa has cooled for at least 15 minutes place in the refrigerator and cool for another 30-45 minutes until light and fluffy.
Just before serving, lay the lettuce on 4 plates, pour a small amount of dressing over the salad to gently coat. Spoon quinoa over the lettuce, sprinkle with desired amount of pea pods, orange slices, green onions and toasted seeds or almonds. Add more dressing if desired. ENJOY!