Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Miso Dressing.

Last weekend was all about friends and food.  We are so lucky to have met so many like-minded people here in Seattle.  All weekend long we went to picnics and cookouts with vegetarian spreads of things like sushi, bean salads, vegan potato salad, and homemade flatbread.  It may not have been typical Memorial Day fare, but boy was it delicious.

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On Saturday afternoon we had a picnic in the park with a few other couples.  I wanted to take something that was easy and portable, but also filling and nutritious for the vegetarians.  Grain salads are my go-to choice when it comes to one-dish meals that incorporate all the basics – veggies, protein, and carbs.  This one came together within an hour of the picnic – fast and simple!

Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Miso Dressing

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 2 dry cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 3.75 cups water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 pint crimini mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 4 tablespoons water

Instructions

Start by cooking the quinoa in a rice cooker or sauce pan. Combine quinoa with 3.75 cups water, and add a bouillon cube before cooking. This will give the quinoa a rich vegetable seasoning when it cooks!  I use the Rapunzel vegan bouillon cubes and I absolutely love them!  They give grains and beans a richness that tastes like homemade vegetable stock (without all the work!).

While the quinoa cooks, prep and dice the vegetables. In a large sauté pan, add the onions and cook in a bit of olive oil until browning. Add carrots and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Once the carrots show a bit of color, add the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have released all their water and have cooked down.  Finally, add the frozen peas and cook until thawed and warmed.

In a small separate dish, whisk together 1 tablespoon miso with 4 tablespoons of water.  I chose to add the miso after the quinoa was cooked, in order to retain all the great health benefits of (uncooked) miso.  If you’re just looking for flavor and want to make things one step easier, you can also just add the miso to the cooking water with the quinoa.

Once the quinoa and vegetables are all cooked, combine together in a bowl and toss with dressing. The mixture should be salty enough from the miso and the bouillon seasoning, but you can sprinkle any additional salt now if it’s needed.

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Serve immediately or at room temperature.

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Photograph with caution…

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We took ours to a picnic and enjoyed it with friends at the park.  Even though we are lucky to have friends with similar eating styles, it’s always nice to know you’ll have a healthy option available.

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I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day, and it was just as tasty.  This came together in a quick 30 minutes, so it’s a great recipe if you find yourself needing something quickly, and too far from a Whole Foods to swing by the salad bar. 

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As always, enjoy!

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