This week I was lucky to spend a few good hours browsing food & lifestyle blogs for work. The appropriately named I Am a Food Blog was among my favorite finds because of its gorgeous photography and straightforward recipes.
I love salads for summertime dinners and especially loved this Vietnamese Quinoa Salad. While I'd happily devour one of Co Nam's noodle bowls every night of the week, this recipe makes for a decidedly lighter option while still keeping all that rich vinegary, minty flavor.
P.S.: How amazing do these Bahn Mi Fries look?
Vietnamese Quinoa Salad from I Am A Food Blog
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sugar (I used a stevia blend, which equates to about a teaspoon)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Sriracha, to taste (we were out of srirancha, so chili hot sauce was used instead)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/4 cups water
1 small cucumber, diced
1 carrot, peeled and shredded (I used 2)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 roughly chopped cilantro
10 - 12 fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 cups shredded lettuce (I used romaine)
salt & pepper
Lightly toast your rinsed, drained quinoa in a non-stick pot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the water or vegetable stock, bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, transfer to a large bow, fluff and let cool.
While the quinoa is cooking/cooling, make the dressing. Mince the garlic clove as finely as possible. Alternatively, crush it with a motar and pestle. Whisk together the garlic, sugar, lime juice, water and fish sauce until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add sriracha if desired. Set aside in the fridge.
Once the quinoa is cool, add the cucumber, carrot, green onion, cilantro, mint leaves, and shredded lettuce. Add the dressing and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.