Monday, August 29, 2011

Recipe: Ginger Lime Quinoa Salad

Ginger Lime Quinoa Salad

I cooked and ate quinoa for the very first time last week.  I feel that people's responses to this information fall into two distinct categories -- "seriously?!?!" or "what the hell is kwe-noa?!?!"

Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is really hot right now.  It is a grain-like crop with seeds a little bit bigger than couscous.  It is packed full of protein and very versatile.  We had dinner with our friend Erik last weekend and he was telling us about how he puts it in everything.  I don't think he actually puts it in everything but I understood what he was saying -- we needed to try quinoa sooner rather than later.  I found a recipe that looked equally simple and delicious and made some adaptations to our liking.  Here is a link to the original recipe:
Quinoa Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing and Shrimp

I also found this website which is dedicated to cooking quinoa perfectly:
How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly

If you have never seen quinoa, this is what it looks like right out of the box and below that are some additional photos from my first quinoa experience.

Raw Quinoa

Sauce ingredients.

The veggies, including a cucumber from our garden.

Ginger Lime Quinoa Salad.

Ginger Lime Quinoa Salad

Serves: 4 for a main dish

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots


  1. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  2. In a small measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, ginger garlic, salt, cayenne, oils and buttermilk.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and vegetables.  Toss with the dressing and diving among plates or bowls.   

To be honest, I was too impatient to let the quinoa cool before combining everything for our dinner. Although still very tasty, my honey said that it was even better for lunch the next day -- after it was cooled and the flavors had more time to mingle.

I tend to like my dressing leaning towards the more vinegary side.  You can play around with the amounts in the dressing to get the oil and vinegar balance that you prefer.  Also, I thought that buttermilk sounded like a strange ingredient in this particular dressing but the flavor and texture turns out great.  

1 comment:

  1. A very timely post as I have recently bought my first box of quinoa and have yet to make anything with it. (Vegetarian Times mentions it quite often, so that was my lead-in...) This sounds and looks yummy!