The salad gods have smiled upon me and placed two fabulous salad shops within walking distance of my house. This makes it possible for me to waddle down the street and scarf down leafy greens in between baking binges. You can’t imagine how handy this is in my persistent battle with "blogger-bottom".
I love the creativity of these shops. They truly do make eating veggies and grains fun. Occasionally, one of those salads is so divine that I'm inspired to recreate it in my own kitchen to pack for lunch. That is the story of how this delicious Asian-inspired quinoa and swiss chard salad came to be. Actually, it could be considered a grain bowl if that’s your thing, mixed with a party of Asian flavors – hearty roasted mushrooms, edamame beans, red onions, red peppers, and cubed tofu.
This endeavor pushed me out of my comfort zone a bit. I don’t prepare much Asian food. I can’t say I’ve ever worked with Swiss chard before, and rarely use edamame beans or tofu.
Can I gush about the dressing for a moment? It is the star of the show. I adore ginger, so I’ve been crushing on the the Sesame Ginger Miso Dressing offered at the local Sweetgreen. I set out on a rather extensive internet treasure hunt to find a recipe to imitate, and ended up blending three different recipes to create this one. I felt like some sort of mad chemist with bottles and jars of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and lime juice and miso paste.
I struck upon a fantastic combo… LOVE.
It’s actually a darn good thing I love the stuff, as a corner of my pantry looks like a section of an Asian supermarket.
I’ll have to keep up the “out of my comfort zone” tinkering. Hmm… what shall I use this sesame oil for next?
Things I’m crushing on lately:
Now that we’ve eaten greens all afternoon, let’s talk baking for a minute:
It’s Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday… I think this cake would be a grand way to celebrate!
Speaking of baking, I’d like some of these chocolate chip and espresso kiss cookies please.
Happy Thursday all!
Quinoa and Swiss Chard Salad with Miso Sesame Ginger Dressing
Serves: 6 lunch-sized portions
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 cups mushrooms
- 1 cup edamame beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 medium bunch swiss chard, cut into ¼ inch strips
- 1 package diced extra-firm tofu
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sesame Ginger Miso Dressing
- ¼ cup peanut oil
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons yellow miso paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the red pepper, onion, mushrooms, and edamame beans in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and toss to (very) lightly coat all the veggies. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Pop the veggies in the oven, and roast for 25 minutes.
- While the veggies are roasting, place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender, and blend on high until smooth, about a minute. Set aside.
- Toss the quinoa with the swiss chard and tofu in a large bowl.
- When the veggies are done, add them to the quinoa mixture.
- Pour the dressing onto the salad, and mix until all of the elements are well coated with dressing.
- Scatter the sunflower seeds over the top of the salad and serve.