Quinoa Salad with Lemon Pepper Tahini Dressing

With tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, yellow peppers and cilantro.

I looked up from my laptop. “Sometimes I really hate Facebook.”

“Why?”

“Couples.”

“Expressing their undying love for one another?”

“I wish that was it,” I said, spinning my laptop around and pointing at my Newsfeed. “Another couple, going at it with passive-aggressive status updates.”

Roo glanced at the screen. “They know people can see this, right?”

“Maybe that’s it? Maybe they’re looking for some kind of justification from friends? Although…” I paused, turning the laptop back around, “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would comment on this.”

“It could be worse.”

“How?”

“Your mom could have finally decided to join Facebook.”

I sighed. “For once I’m thankful my mother is self-proclaimed luddite.”  I said, closing my laptop. “I just don’t understand why couples use Facebook to communicate. Whatever happened to talking?”

Roo shrugged his shoulders and picked up his iPad.  “What’s for lunch?”

“None of your business,” I joked, as I uncrossed my legs and stretched my arms over my head.  I stood up and walked towards the kitchen, mentally going through what we had in the fridge and the cupboard.

I crouched in front of the crisper drawer, pulling out peppers and cilantro when I heard my iPhone vibrate on the kitchen table. “Who’s calling me on a Sunday?” I wondered out loud, picking it up to see Facebook: Roo mentioned you in a comment just before the screen turned off.  “You wrote on my Facebook wall?” I asked, and unlocked my phone to look at my profile page.

You know what I hate? Not knowing what’s for lunch. – with Lys.  Roo wrote.

I laughed and typed back, It’s quinoa salad. Asshole.

.

Lemon pepper is one of my favorite flavor combinations.  I love the how the bright, spicy notes compliment the creamy tahini in this dressing.  It’s somewhat indulgent without being too heavy.   Poured over sweet bell pepper, nutty quinoa, peppery red onion and citrusy cilantro, makes it a great summer salad.

*I love the dressing tossed with the ingredients, but feel free to use it sparingly if you like (as shown below).

Adapted from Miss Dahl’s Voluptous Delights

Serves Two

Equipment

A fine mesh strainer

1 small saucepan with lid

A sharp knife

A zester/hand grater

A small mixing bowl

A whisk

A fork (to fluff the quinoa)

Ingredients

For the Salad

1 cup water (You could use low sodium broth but the dressing does such a wonderful job flavoring the quinoa – when tossed together – that I didn’t find it necessary)

Half cup uncooked quinoa (or 1 cup cooked, leftover quinoa, no water necessary)

1 small cucumber, chopped (I use pickling cukes because they’re super crunchy and I don’t need to peel them)

1 tomato, sliced into easily edible pieces

1 brightly colored bell pepper (I used yellow), deseeded and chopped

Half a red onion, thinly sliced

Quarter cup of cilantro, chopped

For the Dressing

1 tablespoon mild tasting olive oil

Zest from 1 large lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice (use the lemon you zested)

1 tablespoon tahini

One to one and a half teaspoons agave (you could use maple syrup or whatever liquid sweetener you like)

Lots of freshly ground pepper

Salt to taste (I use a quarter teaspoon of fine sea salt)

Add the quinoa to your fine meshed strainer and rinse well under cold water.  Drain and set aside.

Add the water to your small saucepan and place it on a burner over high heat.  Bring the broth to a boil, then add the quinoa.  Stir the quinoa in, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, covered with a lid. (The quinoa will be done when you see their curlycue.) When the quinoa is done, remove it from heat and fluff it with a fork and set aside.

While you’re waiting for the quinoa to cook, make the dressing.  Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, tahini and agave to a small mixing bowl.  Whisk the ingredients together till well combined.  Set aside.

Toss the cooked quinoa, cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper, red onion and cilantro with about half the dressing.  Taste, then add more dressing if needed and toss together.  Split the salad between two plates and serve.

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2 thoughts on “Quinoa Salad with Lemon Pepper Tahini Dressing

    • I love that Roo and I can joke around like we do. And I think it’s great that you and your boyfriend can do the same! Thanks for reading!

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