Since I started thinking about this blog, I have been searching for the perfect first recipe, and I think I successfully found it! I found a thai quinoa salad recipe here, and it was right up my alley. I like to make things with ingredients that are naturally gluten free, so this recipe was perfect. There are a few ingredients in the original recipe that I really don’t like, so I modified it a little bit. I think it tastes better, but be sure to look at the original as well!
I took in progress pictures to help those with minimal cooking experience, such as myself. I think the best way to format these recipes is to walk you through the steps with pictures, and then rate the taste, cost, and difficulty level.
Here we go!
The ingredients that you will need are…
1 Bell Pepper (Any color-I used yellow)
2 Scallions (Green Onions)
2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
2 Tablespoons Cilantro
2 1/2 Teaspoons Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (Fish Sauce in the original)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Vegetable Oil in the original)
2 Tablespoons Honey (Sugar in the original)
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
The first step is to cook the quinoa. I ended up using 2/3 cup dry quinoa and 1 1/3 cup water to cook on the stove. Be sure to rinse the quinoa before cooking, so that dirt or sand doesn’t end up in your food! To cook the quinoa, combine with water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn the heat down and cover. The quinoa is done when the seeds sprout little white tails and the water is absorbed.
While the quinoa is cooking (or after it is done), prepare the veggies. The cucumber needs to be rinsed, peeled, and seeded. I used a potato peeler, but a knife would work fine too. To seed the cucumber, just use a spoon and scrape out all of the seeds and mushy parts.
After that is done, dice the cucumber and pepper and grate the carrots.
The scallions should be rinsed and finely sliced, including the bottom white part.
After all the veggies are in, the cilantro can be added. I used freeze-dried cilantro because I forgot to get it from the store, but fresh cilantro would probably taste better!
For the sauce, the limes will need to be juiced in a separate bowl. I didn’t have a juicer, so I just used my hands. The rest of the ingredients need to be added to the lime juice and mixed. Because the honey is so sticky, it will take a few minutes to really mix together. Just mix until the honey has dissolved and pour over the quinoa and veggies. The last step is to mix! With the ratios I used, it didn’t need any more sauce. The lime sauce spread throughout the whole salad and didn’t overpower it!
I really enjoyed this salad, and it is perfect as a main dish or a side dish. I like to pack it in my lunches for work since it stays fresh for a long time. All of these ingredients are fairly inexpensive. The most expensive ingredients were the quinoa and the soy sauce. Both of those ingredients can be used for several recipes, though, and keep well.
It’s hard to be excited about eating when there are so many limitations to what I can have, but this recipe was something I looked forward to all day.
Tastiness: 8/10 (It needs something, but I’m not sure what yet. Maybe a little more cayenne?)
Difficulty Level: Easy
Let me know if you make this salad, and if you make any changes, be sure to tell me. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks! 🙂