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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Arugula Quinoa Citrus-y Salad

quinoa arugula  orange salad

I tend to sound like a broken record at times here - but, I do love the rice cooker. I use it a lot and not just for cooking rice. Anything from cous cous to polenta, millet, kasha, steamed veggies, kichdi, and quinoa, I trust my rice cooker to help out. Of course, the first few tries of any new item is experimental, until I figure out the amount of liquid needed and whether one regular cycle is enough etc.

Quinoa comes out perfectly in the rice cooker. I buy quinoa in bulk. Per cup of dry quinoa, I use 1 cup of liquid - either stock or water. Typically, I soak the quinoa in warm water for about 5 minutes and drain the stuff that floats to the top. Rinse and repeat washing a couple of times. And then I am ready to measure out the water and cook it in the regular cycle of the rice cooker. And to keep the grains from getting clumped and sticky, I like to add a small amount of olive oil (or any favorite oil). Rice cooker is particularly helpful for making flavorful brown rice and pilaf (pulao/pulav), of course.

The Berry Sweet Citrus Dressing is something I came up with for this salad as I was in the mood for it. This recipe here yields about half a cup of this delicious dressing. I tend to dress the salad on the conservative side for serving; however, I also serve extra dressing on the side.

Berry Sweet Citrus Dressing:
2 Tbsp Raspberry Red Wine Vinegar (I use Pompeian™)
1 tsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp black raspberry jam
1 tsp sambal oelek (less if preferred)
½ tsp Italian seasoning herbs
⅛ tsp salt (optional)
⅛ tsp smoked paprika powder
½ tsp freshly grated ginger
4 Tbsp Olive Oil

Simply whisk all the ingredients together, taste and adjust as preferred.

For the salad:
¼ medium red onion, sliced thin
¼ medium red pepper, sliced thin
1 or 2 sweet mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
¼ cup julienned cooked beets
2.5 oz Arugula, cleaned and ready to use
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature
Slivered almonds (optional)

Toss the salad ingredients together, reserving the beets, almonds, and the orange slices as topping.

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