Asian Quinoa Salad

Peter Pan, where are you when I need you?

I’m over the whole grown-up thing today. You know those weeks where you have to do the not-so-fun adult tasks like standing in line at the DMV? Yeah, it’s been one of those. And clearly, I’m still struggling with the fact that I missed my chance to move to Neverland.

I mean, it has felt like a Friday since Monday! I am so ready for the weekend and some warm weather. Colorado has really been messing around with this whole let’s-make-it-feel-like-winter-again phase. But now it’s May and the sun is out – and it’s time to fire up the BBQ! This Asian Quinoa Salad recipe is the perfect complement to these grilled Chicken Teriyaki Kabobs.

The Asian Quinoa Salad is light and fresh, with a slight kick to it. It’s a great dinner side dish, and the leftovers are even better the next day! I was so excited to be able to bring this to work for lunch. The vegetable add-ins are totally up to you. Carrots, bell peppers and edamame are my go-to, but I’ve thrown in broccoli slaw or sugar snap peas too.

Asian Quinoa Salad

Asian Quinoa Salad

Serves four

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I think this gives it more flavor than water!)
  • 1 cup shelled and cooked edamame
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Add quinoa and broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let it boil for a minute or two, then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Then, turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper, and let it sit for a few minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, chop the vegetables and make the sauce.

The sauce is super easy – just whisk everything together in a small bowl, adding more seasoning to taste. It seems a little oily at first, but covers the salad well.

Once the quinoa is done, pour the chopped veggies and sauce into the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately!

 

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Confetti Veggie Salad

I have a secret to confess: I’m taking a photography class.

Hopefully, you can tell!

As a writer and editor, words have always been easier for me. Even when I was younger, I thrived in English class – but was terrified of art! So later, I just kind of lumped photography into that category of “beyond my creative scope.” But to be honest, I never really tried it! Now I’m having a ton of fun learning how to use a camera other than the one on my iPhone. And, of course, this blog benefits as well.

I struggle to make certain meals, like soups or meat, look visually appetizing. But, I LOVE taking pictures of any baked goods or sweets! And I can add fruits and veggies to that favorites list now, too. I mean, how could you not want these vibrant green beans, enrobed in hot pink? So perfect.

Green Beans

All of these veggies make me so ready for farmers markets! I can’t wait for warmer weather and fresh produce. Plus, I want a reason to make this yummy green smoothie every day.

Confetti Veggie Salad

I’m seriously counting down the days until fresh corn. You just can’t beat it. I hesitantly admit that I wanted to make this Confetti Vegetable Salad so badly, I used frozen corn. And, you could tell (… ok, I could, but no one else!).  It’s still really good either way – the perfect healthy side for any meal, or a tasty lunch on its own!

Confetti Veggie Salad

Adapted from Epicurious

  • 6 C corn
  • 1 C edamame beans (shelled)
  • 2 C skinny green beans, blanched and cut into pieces*
  •  1 C grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper

In a bowl, toss together corn, edamame, green beans, tomatoes and avocado. In a second bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add vinaigrette to salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for an hour before serving to let it marinate.

*To blanch the green beans, first boil a pot of water. Then, when it’s bubbling, throw in the green beans for about 30 seconds. Immediately drain and rinse them under cold water. This softens them a little, while still keeping the crispness!

Fresh Fruit & Veggie Salad

Sometimes – like after a night of beer tasting – you just need a meal that feels a little detoxifying.

I’m not talking about juice here (as much as I love it!), but something more substantial. Real, whole food.

So, I made this salad for lunch. It’s a totally adjustable recipe, I just used what we had and what was on sale. BUT blueberries would take it to another level. Bell peppers would add crunch! Tomatoes? A sweetness. And peaches would be crazy delicious. Experiment, and share your favorite combo!

P.S. Can you tell I’m ready for Spring? Farmer’s Market, where are you?

Fruit and veggie salad

Fruit & Veggie Salad

Serves two

Mixed greens

Baby spinach

1 apple, chopped

1/2 cup shredded carrots or carrot chips

1 cup chopped strawberries

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

A handful of raw nuts (I used a natural walnut and almond mix)

 

Once all of the prep work – washing and chopping – is done, divide it between two bowls and enjoy!

Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad

There are certain moments in life that are often referred to as “ah ha” but I actually prefer “duh.” I recently had one of those revelations when I discovered these Mexican Pizzas from Jenna. I happen to covet any and all Mexican food, so how could I have missed this insanely basic – but crazy good – weeknight meal?

I mean mixing tacos and pizza? Of course. I’m embarrassed it took me so long.

This salad is similar in its simplistic ingredient list and preparation – it’s one of those recipes that might make you say “duh,” then proceed to wonder why you haven’t mixed avocado and strawberries before. Or maybe you’ve tried a variation of it, but this is definitely the best combination. It’s the perfect salad for entertaining because it looks impressive but only takes a few minutes to throw together. I typically plate the salads in advance for everyone; however, you can easily make it all in one big bowl to bring to a family dinner, for example.

Enjoy! – Courtney

sipcookbake salad

Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

1bag baby spinach leaves and mixed greens

10 strawberries, cut in pieces

2 avocados, sliced

6 mini mozzarella balls, cut in half

2/3 cup walnut pieces (sugared or toasted)

½ cup dried cranberries

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

 

Directions

Divide spinach and mixed greens into four bowls. After prepping the strawberries, avocado and mozzarella, place them on top of the greens. Sprinkle the walnut pieces and cranberries on top. Lightly drizzle olive oil and balsamic on top, and season with salt and pepper. If you are not serving immediately, hold off on the dressing and place the bowls in the fridge.