I’m back! Back from our short, yet lovely road trip through Oregon, but more on that later. I have a few hundred photos to sort through first before I can tell you all about it. One thing I can say though is that summer is still live and well due south of the 49th parallel. In these parts, however, fall is creeping in. Mornings and evenings are cooler and crisper and it’s time to dust off the sweaters and jackets. I don’t like it! I much prefer the heat. Perhaps it’s the Asian in me, being born in a hot climate and all. But I digress. To keep summer alive for a little while longer, or at least the memory of it, I made a quinoa salad with blackened prawns.
The original recipe called for mangos, which are not in abundance right now. So I substituted the mangos for just about anything and everything I can find: carrots, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, black beans.
Don’t you just love all the vibrant colours? Doesn’t it remind you of summer?
This salad is light and fresh, a perfect dish to give our stomachs a break from the overconsumption and indulgence during our little getaway.
This salad is simple, yet complex with all the different textures – crunchy carrots, soft corn and beans, juicy tomatoes and prawns and nutty quinoa. Every bite is an explosion of flavours in your mouth – sweet and savoury at the same time with a hint of acidity.
Can you smell the lime and cilantro? Can you taste and smell summer?
Recipe (adapted from Daily Crave):
makes about 6 portions
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 green onions, diced
- cilantro, a large handful chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced to bite size pieces
- 3 small peppers, diced
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can corn, rinsed and drained
- freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime (or to taste, lemon works too)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tsp cumin (or to taste)
- 3/8 tsp salt (or to taste)
- pepper (to taste ~50 grindings)
- 1/2 lb prawn, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp blackening seasoning
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Rinse quinoa under cold water.
- Add quinoa, water, vegetable stock and salt to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil and then cover with a lid and turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- For the prawn, place in a large ziplock bag, add blackening seasoning, salt and olive oil and shake to coat completely. Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Cook the prawn on each side for just a couple of minutes, or until they turn pink. Prawns cook very quickly, so be sure not to overcook.
- Mix the cooled quinoa with the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper and serve with the prawn and fresh cilantro garnish.
*If you are a non-seafood eating vegetarian, the prawn can be substituted by tofu.