07 June 2013

recipe: superfood salad

Becca is a genius.  Did you know she can peel an orange all in one strip with nothing but her thumb nails and her no-nonsense steely gaze?  There's this other thing she does: every weekend, she makes her lunches for work all at once.  This way, when left-overs aren't readily available, she doesn't have to scramble or settle for a PB&J.  Not that there's anything wrong with a PB&J.

I shamelessly stole her idea and warped it to my own devices.  Now, I am unstoppable.  My lunches are just that good.

Some ingredients in here might make you feel uncomfortable.  Nutritional yeast?  Kimchee?  Umeboshi plum?  Seaweed?  But don't worry.  These things are crazy good for you - that's why it's a superfood salad!  Nutritional yeast even has B12.  No neurological disorders for you, muffins.

Superfood Salad
GF - 30 minutes - serves 4

1c quinoa
2c water
1T miso paste
1T Earth Balance
2t cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4c nutritional yeast

4c mixed greens
1c loosely packed seaweed such as nori or the flavored snack variety, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch scallions, green parts only, chopped
1/3c peanuts
1/4c sesame seeds
2T kimchee

1/3c tahini
Juice of 1 lime
2T soy sauce or tamari
2T brown rice vinegar
1T Sriracha
1 umeboshi plum, minced (or 1T umeboshi paste)
2t ginger, minced
1t agave

First, get your quinoa going on the stove.  Combine your grain with the water, miso, Earth Balance, cumin, and garlic - the nutritional yeast (or nooch, as we vegans most affectionately call it) is for later.  Boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.

While that's bubbling away, throw all the salad ingredients in a big mixing bowl.  Have a bite of your snacky snacky seaweed.  That stuff is addictive.

Mix the dressing ingredients together - you should be able to fit them all in a one-cup liquid measuring cup.  If you have a tiny whisk like I do, break it out!  It's for moments like these that those cute little suckers exist. You might need to whisk it for a minute to get everything emulsified - you want it smooth and creamy.

When the quinoa's done, turn off the heat and pour the dressing into it.  Mix it all up - it'll make that gooey sticky Kraft mac and cheese sound.  Add the nooch and mix that in, too.  If it's still kind of drippy, or you can see liquid settling at the bottom, add more nooch - or even some cornstarch.

Lastly, throw that flavor-filled quinoa into the salad bowl and mix everybody up!  There should be quinoa coating every leaf and veggie bit.  At this point I like to think about how much time I just saved by not letting the quinoa cool to room temperature.  If you must, or if you have time, of course you can do so and save a little crispiness in your greens.

If you do indeed use this salad for your work lunches, put it into 4 separate meal-sized tupperwares so all you gotta do in the morning is reach into your fridge and grab one on your way out the door.  So slick!

Salads, as you know, are endlessly customizable.  You don't want peanuts?  Trade them out for sliced almonds.  Mixed greens not healthy enough for you?  Use baby spinach instead!  Just listen to what your heart tells you.  That's what I do.  And it tells me to use umeboshi plums.

Or, wait.  That was Alicia Silverstone, telling me that.  I get confused.

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