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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Portobello Quinoa Salad

Here's another hearty, vegetarian main dish salad.  With protein-rich quinoa and meaty portobello mushrooms, you won't miss the meat.

There are a couple of methods for cooking quinoa.  You can boil it in a pot full of water like pasta, then drain when cooked, or you can cook it more like rice in just slightly more water than grains. The water will be absorbed into the quinoa as it cooks.  I don't have any preference and usually just use whatever method the recipe calls for.  

For this one, use the rice method.  Boil 1 cup of water and add 2/3 cup of quinoa plus a sprinkle of salt and hot chili flakes.  Simmer, covered for about 12 minutes then remove from heat, let stand covered for 5 more minutes and then fluff with a fork.

For the salad you'll also need portobello mushrooms, pepper, cucumber and salad greens - spinach, romaine or a mixed blend.  

For the dressing/marinade you need sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, fresh ginger and garlic.

Mix 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger with 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons sesame oil and 2 teaspoons honey.  

Take your portobello mushrooms...

... remove the stems and scrape out the gills with a spoon.  Brush both sides of the mushrooms with the sesame ginger dressing.

Grill the mushrooms along with a seeded red or green pepper over a hot grill until charred and tender.

Meanwhile, slice ribbons of cucumber with a vegetable peeler, turning the cucumber to slice each side.

Chop the grilled pepper and add to the quinoa along with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

To assemble the salad, dress salad greens with lightly with the sesame ginger dressing.

Add to the plate with the ribbons of cucumber.

Top with a grilled portobello mushroom cap.

Then top the mushroom cap with the quinoa pepper mixture and drizzle more dressing over top.
This is a hearty, healthy salad.  It's full of protein and nutrients and tastes great!  

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