It’s lunchtime, and true to form, I haven’t eaten breakfast. I know, I know–most important meal of the day, keeps metabolism burning, aids in weight loss, yada yada. I’m sorry but I just forget to eat breakfast. I’m working on it, except when I forget to work on it. Anyway, lunch time rolls around and I’m getting pretty hungry until I remember something else I forgot, that we’re all out of lettuce and tomatoes. Calamity! Another habit I’m trying to develop is eating a big raw salad for lunch. And it was going so well until today.
But there are vegetables in the fridge–cauliflower, zucchini, and 4-count ‘em-4 colors of bell pepper. I could chop them up and have them as a salad, but it occurs to me that a little quinoa would make this a much more filling meal. Quinoa just so happens to be one of the grains you can eat more than once a day on Weight Watchers’ Core program, which, yes, I’m trying to remember to follow.
So I make up this salad that’s mostly vegetables, mostly raw, and very random; if there’d been other vegetables in my refrigerator, I’d have used them instead of the ones you see here. Something about this combination just cried out to me “curry dressing” and then the curry dressing shouted “Add a mango!” So I did. See? Completely random.
Feel free to get random with it yourself. Use the veggies you have on-hand and substitute your favorite salad dressing. The Orange-Curry Dressing really hit the spot, but that was my spot–your spot may be crying out for sesame-orange dressing or tahini goddess dressing or even some bottled Italian dressing. Some legumes would be a tasty addition, too; I meant to add some chickpeas but, naturally, I forgot!
Random Act of Quinoa Salad
Adding the cauliflower to the quinoa during the last five minutes of cooking softens it very slightly without making it lose its crunch; if you prefer it raw, just skip that step.
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cauliflower flowerets
1 bell pepper (red, green, purple, yellow, or combination), chopped
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 mango, cut into cubes
about 1/3 cup of your favorite dressing or Orange-Curry Dressing
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry powder (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon flax seeds, ground
Combine the quinoa, water, and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook covered for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and check to see that there is still water in the quinoa; if not, add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on low for 5 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
Put the quinoa/cauliflower into a large serving bowl and add the zucchini and bell peppers. (If you are using a pre-made salad dressing, add it now, just enough to moisten; refrigerate until chilled and add mango just before serving.)
To make the Orange-Curry Dressing:
Saute the onion in a small pan until just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer it to a small blender and add all the remaining ingredients. Blend well, until onion is pureed. Pour just enough of this dressing over the salad to moisten, and reserve the rest.
Cover and refrigerate until ready for serving. Add the mango and serve with extra dressing on the table.
Makes 2 servings. With Orange-Curry Dressing, each serving provides 281 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (10% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 57g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 50mg Sodium; 9g Fiber. Weight Watchers Core + 1/2 Point (for O.J.) /5 Flex Points.