Meatless Somedays: the Low-down

Well, I’ve been trying to deliver a meatless day every week for about a month now, and I managed to miss one last week. Call it a busy life, call it fate, call it what you will; the fact is that this past Sunday (the supposedly “normal” meatless day I had chosen) we fenced in our back yard, and this project kept us too busy for kitchen wizardry and blogging. Monday night, I came home from class and decided to do a little something just for fun with the quinoa left over from the quinoa stuffed peppers I made for the first Meatless post.

The result was a delicious cold quinoa salad, designed and created by myself. I actually ate it for lunch Tuesday and Thursday, and shared some of it with Karisa to get her input on it. She liked it, and thought it quite palatable. Because I’m writing about it now, and because I’ve been too busy to take a picture of the darned stuff, I might have to post one next time I make it – maybe tonight, I don’t know!

But for those of you who can do this without a picture, I’ll go ahead and impart my very first shared-with-the-world vegan recipe:

Rob Lobster’s Cold Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 medium-small carrots or 1 large, very finely chopped
2 1/2″ thick slices of onion, very finely chopped
1 can of whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
2 to 4 Tbsp raspberry vinaigrette dressing (to taste)
dried basil to taste

Soak the quinoa by putting 1 1/2 cups of cold water in a sauce pan, adding the quinoa, and stir it for a minute. Allow it to soak for half an hour while you chop the vegetables. When the quinoa is finished soaking, strain it with a fine mesh strainer and rinse it with tap water until the water runs clear from the strainer. Rinse out the pot and put the quinoa back in with 1 1/2 cups of clean water. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Put a tight lid on it and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer it for 20 minutes, without removing the lid. Remove the pot from the heat, and leave the lid on for at least another 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork. In a 2 quart bowl, combine the carrots, onions, corn, quinoa, and raspberry vinaigrette, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula (something blunt and not metallic.) Sprinkle with dried basil, and stir it some more. Repeat that until it looks and tastes good. Chill in the refrigerator or eat it warm, if you prefer.

I don’t actually know how much of the raspberry vinaigrette I used; I believe it was more than two tablespoons and less than four, but I could be way off on that. It might be safer to start with less and add a little bit at a time until you like the flavor, but I put in enough to create a light taste and moisture, not enough to be able to tell that there’s dressing in it without knowing that.

So with that, I’m announcing a change to this column’s name. Henceforth it will be called Meatless Somedays, and I’ll post whenever and however often I want to. I’m thinking I want to post more than just recipes and tales of making dinner, so I’m moving to a more open format with the name change.

As always, feel free to leave any comments you might have. The vetting system on WordPress requires me to approve your comments the first time you leave one, so it won’t show up right away when you leave it. Also, not to be rude to anyone, but if you aren’t truly fluent in English, leave your comments in your native language and I promise that I will figure out what it means myself. Thanks!

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