You know when things are called salads but there’s no lettuce? That confuses me.
Farro salad with cranberries and toasted almonds. Fruit salad. Quinoa salad with black beans. Egg salad with…mayonnaise. Chicken salad with…mayonnaise.
And I myself am guilty of this misnomer crime! Remember my Mediterranean Quinoa Salad? Not a leaf of lettuce in sight.
But seriously. I guess a salad is just a pile of…stuff. And as long as that stuff leaves your tastebuds holly and jolly, no one’s complaining or writing a blog post about it (except me).
According to thefreedictionary.com (can you imagine owning an actual dictionary?!), a salad is 1) a dish of raw leafy green vegetables, 2) a cold dish of chopped vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, or other foods, 3) a green vegetable or herb used in salad, or 4) a varied mixture. Ohhhhhhhhhh. Four is funny.
This Thai Quinoa Fried Rice (with implied quotations around the word “fried’) is the tasty cousin of the original gangster, Quinoa Fried Rice. The former has a bit more veggies and a sweeter, more peanut-buttery flavor than the latter. If you like a higher veg to quinoa ratio, you can certainly toss in more broccoli slaw, peppers, or boy choy.
Speaking of which, this recipe inspired me to use bok choy for the FIRST TIME. You heard correctly. I was a bok choy virgin. The horror. I quite love it!!
Anywho, both quinoa “fried” rice versions are beyond delish.
Lettuce not pick favorites. When it comes to lettuce-less salads, they’re clearly all winners.
- 2 cups dry quinoa
- 3 cups water
- 1 tbsp coconut or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 2 cups broccoli slaw
- 1½ cups sliced bell pepper (I used thawed from frozen)
- 1 cup edamame (I used thawed from frozen)
- 2 baby boy choy, chopped
- ½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce (sub tamari for gluten-free)
- 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- Juice of half a large lime
- 1 tsp sriracha
- pinch red pepper flakes (more to taste)
- optional topping: green onions, peanuts
- Place quinoa and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Meanwhile, stir together sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onion. Sautee for 3 minutes and then add garlic and ginger. Saute for another minute or until fragrant. Add broccoli slaw, peppers, and edamame. Sautee for 5 minutes.
- Add bok choy and saute for another 2 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Add cooked quinoa and sauce to veggie mix, stirring to combine. Season to taste with soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and/or sriracha if desired. Top with green onions and peanuts if desired. Serve hot or cold.