I was so lucky to grow up just minutes away from the most charming, intimate organic and natural foods coop. Even though it is a ways away from where I live now, I still love to drive back to buy groceries there to continue to support such a great business. Not only is the produce the best, the brands ethical and the staff welcoming, but it is also the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat in the cafe area or to take with you from the deli.
One of my favorite salads there for years has been this asian-inspired quinoa salad with hints of citrus, mint and nuttiness. The other day, I finally attempted to recreate it… and I did it for only a fraction of the cost!
I love this salad because it is light tasting, nutritious and slightly out of the ordinary routine for me. It refrigerates really well, so make a double batch and eat it a couple of days in a row for lunch!
What will you need?
1/2 cup quinoa (before cooking)
1 cup water (for cooking the quinoa)
1/2 can mandarin oranges + a splash of the syrup that the oranges come in
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp fresh orange zest
Optional: Sesame seeds
How do you make it?
In a medium saucepan, simmer 1 cup water with 1/2 cup quinoa until all of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is nice and fluffy. Remove from the heat and place in a large bowl.
Add in the rest of your toppings – the mandarin oranges, a bit of syrup, orange zest, sesame oil, peanuts, green onions, chopped mint… allllll of the things.
Stir it around to mix the ingredients and break up the oranges a bit. Eat right away or pack it up to enjoy later!