Day 2 dawned bright and early! Yay! No thunderstorms today. Plus its TGIF moment/ day/ revelation. While the hankering for tangy , spicy is inbuilt in my genes, the heat outside also meant I was not willing to eat something that was “right of the stove” kind. So needed something, that is cold and crunchy and yielded all nutrients as well and Voila!
Thai fusions – Quinoa Veg salad with Crunchy Cashews
Cooking time : 15 min Prep time : 15 min Serves : 4
Cooked Quinoa : 2 cups
Broccoli slaw : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
Cucumber : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
Red Cabbage : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
Sweet mini peppers : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
Raw or firm Mango : ¼ cup finely diced
Cilantro: ¼ cup finely chopped
Toasted Cashews : 12-14 halves
Red Onion : ¼ cup thinly sliced ( optional)
Peanut Butter : 3 tbsp
Fresh Ginger or Mango ginger, grated :1 tsp
Soy sauce : 2 tsp ( optional)
Honey : 1 Tbsp
Red wine Vinegar : 1 Tbsp
Olive oil : 1 tsp
Sriracha hot sauce : 1 tsp ( optional )
Luke warm water : 3 Tbsp
Wedges of Lime /Lemon : Garnish
Prep work, Assembly and Serve:
For the dressing:
Add in all the ingredients for the dressings in a bowl and stir until smooth and creamy.
Add in more water , if you would like to thin it out a bit more.
In a large bowl combine the vegetable ingredients of the salad and toss in gently with most of the salad dressing.
Gently fold in the quinoa.
Add in the remaining dressing to your taste.
Garnish with cilantro and chill in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, add in a wedge of lime for garnish and preference.
I so seriously am not pregnant. There is no justification for this craving for quinoa, other than the fact that I am now ” flu -recovered”. And I am looking for a quick fix dinner or lunch ensemble that has all the veggies and proteins channeled through nuts ( ok in this case restricted to the peanuts) in a one pot meal. Whew!
In all fairness, I suppose brown rice or broken wheat could provide this similarly. But hey, like i said ..its a craving ! Now until the few years ago, Quinoa blissfully did not exist in my world. I did indulge guilt free in the basmati rice version of this .. Aaah heavenly! What is it about the age and mid riff..I fear they are directly proportional. Wisdoms dawn on you with age and a good cup of tea :-)..
I am digressing , folks. Anyways back to Quinoa..which apparently is a pseudocereal and is related to beets and tumbleweeds ( see what I mean about family 🙂 ..) has taken a rather prominent place of pride in our grocery errand run.
Anyways, back to the one pot meal that can be cooked in a jiffy and can be indulged guilt free and can satisfy the spicy tooth ( hey if you can have a sweet tooth and , I presume there is a spicy one as well ..) and yes actually taste good and not like the “health protein bar , that is mostly tasteless but is g(o)od for you” kind.
Assemble it up 🙂
Cooked Quinoa : 2 cups or so. (Dry Quinoa : 1 cup is to 1.5 cups of water. I just pressure cook it in and it is nice and sprightly. Not mushy at all )
Thai Chillies : Green : 4 : Minced ( adjust the spice according to your plate)
Frozen peas and carrots : 1 cup . Thawed or nuked in the microwave for about a min.
Bell pepper : choose your kind. I used the red one. 1/2 to a 1 ,deseeded, chopped finely
French beans : 1/2 cup chopped finely
Onion : 1 Chopped finely.( I did not have one one hand and had no intention for running to the store either ). Again Viewers/ cook’s discretion.
Dry roasted salted peanuts : 1/2 cup chopped roughly
Olive Oil : 2 -3 tsp
Mustard Seeds : 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal : 1/4 tsp ( the washed, dry, halved kind !)
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida : a pinch
A bunch of fresh cilantro : finely chopped
Salt : to taste
The Process :
In a large wok or skillet, add the oil.
Once the oil is heated, add the tempering of mustard seeds , Urad dal, green chillies and turmeric powder along with a pinch of Asafoetida. ( yep the mustard seeds are sputtering and the dal with turn a lovely shade of light brown.)
Add the Onions if you decide to include it, and let it brown. Then add the peppers and the rest of the veggies. The idea is to keep the veggie cooked but crunchy. This should take about 5-7 minutes depending on a variety of factors including the freshness of the veggies and simmer of your flame on the gas stove.
Once this is done, toss in the cooked quinoa. And add the salt.
Add the chopped peanuts as well. And mix well again.
By now your kitchen will smell heavenly and the mix on in your skillet will resemble the picture below 🙂
Add the cilantro and dig in!
As always, the choice of your veggies are your personal preference. Cauliflower and broccoli are great variations to this fare.
Now most of the spices , I used here are very basic Indian spices. Again you can experiment with fennel seeds and sticks of cinnamon here or a bay leaf to the temper mix and completely have a different flavor to this dish.
This can be made totally nut free.. Just don’t add the peanuts. On the other hand, I have experimented with toasted almonds and it tasted just awesome as well !
A dash of lemon just before serving will refresh the dish as well.