At our house, we’re getting ready for Disney. In just 7 short days, we’ll be on our way to the Mouse and all the walking and such that will come with it.
Trying to get in better shape (and to detox from my recent sugar overload), I’ve been a really good girl in the food department the past week or two. And since I really love quinoa already, this tangy salad was an easy swap.
Concentrated orange juice is one of those things that I normally eschew, being basically concentrated orange-flavored sugar and all. But for this application, it works, giving a super-concentrated orange flavor without watering things down. If I had some of that frozen orange zest like we had in culinary school, it would be a worthy lower-sugar substitute. But these days, I am all for using what’s already in the house.
How do you like to prepare quinoa? Let me know in the comments.
Zesty Orange Quinoa Salad
Serves 2 as main dish, 4 as sides
- 1 c. traditional (white) quinoa
- 2 c. vegetable broth or water
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into medium florets
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/4 c. cider vinegar
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T. frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. dry basil
- 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 T. celery leaves, chopped
- 1 T. fresh mint, minced (optional)
Cook quinoa according to the package directions, using the broth or water at a 1:2 proportion.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vegetables. When all the vegetables are diced, put the peppers, broccoli and celery (not the leaves) in a microwave-safe bowl with a few tablespoons of water. Cover the bowl and microwave on high, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green. Strain out the water. If you prefer not to use the microwave, you can blanch and shock the vegetables by boiling water, cooking the vegetables for about a minute, then straining them and rinsing with cold water.
Prepare the dressing in a small jar or other container with a lid. Place the vinegar, olive oil, orange juice concentrate, mustard, dry basil and black pepper in the jar, cover the jar and shake well.
When the quinoa is done and still warm, fold in the veggies, celery leaves and mint if using. Fold in as much dressing as you like, being careful not to crush the quinoa.
Serve warm or chilled, either alone or mixed with salad greens. No further dressing is needed.