Friday night, I went on strike. I came home from work around 8.30 and looked at my list of to-do’s:
- Empty dishwasher
- Make azuki bean salad
- Make kale chips
- Answer emails
- Prepare lunchbox to take to work tomorrow
- Fold laundry
I emptied the dishwasher and then went on strike and watched DVR’ed episodes of Glee (eh) and Private Practice (which I really no longer like, yet am oddly loyal to). Yes, I could have journaled, or read, or meditated, but I just wanted to watch TV. Then I went to bed. I was cranky and it had been a very long week, on the heels of another very long week. March is always a busy season at my job because of regulatory filings.
A good night’s sleep helped immensely though.
Yesterday morning, while at work, I knew I had to get myself home briefly to throw together said azuki bean salad very quickly for a dinner I was attending last night. Plus, seeing as this is my submission for No Croutons Required and the Sweet or Savory Kitchen Challenge, both of which have azukis as this month’s theme, it had to be an azuki bean salad. I had cooked azukis earlier in the week and had portioned them out in two cup increments in the fridge, so that part was easy.
I eventually raced home, and decided I had no time to look at recipes, so I made it up as I went along. I had to make enough to serve as a side for at least a dozen people, so I decided to bulk up the azukis I had in the fridge with quinoa (bonus, it cooks fast). Since I had half a roasted yellow onion in the fridge, I decided to use that as the base of my flavors. I liked the idea of sweet gooey roasted onion with the brightness of citrus and apple cider vinegar and the crunch of carrots. All in all, I think it turned out well, particularly considering the speed at which I prepared it. Several people said it was good, and I enjoyed it as well. I tasted it before adding any olive oil and thought it was delicious, but decided to add some extra-virgin olive oil to make it a little more decadent. The nice thing about quinoa salads is that they are versatile and do not require oil to taste good, but also absorb any dressing nicely.
And if you are wondering why I had half a roasted onion in the fridge, that is because I had used half an onion in a recipe, and then had not needed it again so when I roasted some sweet potatoes a couple of days later, I wrapped the onion in foil and made that alongside. I figured it would come in handy to flavor a salad dressing, or I could mash it with some roasted sweet potatoes for a creamy side dish. Better yet, it would be easy to freeze if I did not get around to actually using it. Roasting the onion does add some length of time to the recipe below, so feel free to make it the day before. In fact, the quinoa and roasted onion could both be made ahead of time. I do think this is one of those salads that benefits from some time sitting to allow the flavors to blend. I made the salad around 2pm and by the time I served it at 6.30pm, the flavors had married together nicely. This recipe would be great for a lunchbox as well.
Since I am having a hectic month, I am submitting this recipe to numerous blog events. See the list after the recipe. Looking at this post it seems like I have many themes going – going on strike and also efficiency – roasting vegetables ahead of time, the speed of quinoa, having cooked dried beans, also ahead of time, and the fact I am submitting this recipe to so many blog events it is kind of embarrassing – hopefully you will indulge me though? Have a great Sunday. I am off to be in the wedding of a dear friend’s – in fact, that is her bowl you see in the picture below, as the salad was for a pre-wedding dinner at her house last night.
Roasted Onion Quinoa Azuki Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Sugar-Consious, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Oil-Free Option)
Makes 3 1/2 to 4 cups, or about 12 side servings
- 1/2 large yellow onion or 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (1-2 lemons, juiced, depending on the size of the lemons)
- 1 Tbsp lime juice (1 small lime, juiced)
- 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 0-4 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil (this salad can be made oil-free, while 4 Tbsps of olive oil will make it very rich)
- 2 cups cooked azuki beans (or 1 can azukis)
- 1/2 cup shredded or finely chopped carrots (about two large carrots, peeled)
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsps sliced scallions (about 4 scallions) – you could use spring onions too
- Freshly ground pepper
Preaheat oven to 400F. Peel onion and wrap it in foil. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until soft. While the onion is roasting, cook quinoa according to package directions (I cooked it in 1 1/2 cups water in my rice cooker for about 25 minutes and then steamed it for an addition 10 minutes). Set aside in a large bowl when ready.
Make dressing by combining lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt until salt dissolves. Add desired amount of extra virgin-olive oil. Set aside.
Chop roasted onion finely (I used a mini-prep). Combine with quinoa and azuki beans. Add carrots, parsley and scallions. Add dressing. Add freshly ground pepper to your taste. Stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings.
I am submitting this recipe to the following monthly blog events:
- No Croutons Required for March, an event which always has a lovely round-up of salads and soups around a specific theme – this month it is azukis (or adzukis) or mung beans. Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes take turns hosting the event. This month Lisa is hosting.
- The Sweet or Savory Kitchen Challenge, hosted by Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Kim of Affairs of Living.
I am also submitting the recipe to these weekly events:
- Seasonal Sunday, hosted by Real Sustenance. Here, I have an overlap of Winter and Spring for seasonal ingredients – carrots, onions, scallions (which could be replaced by spring onions) and parsley.
- Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, hosted by Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
- Gluten-Free Wednesday over at the Gluten-Free Homemaker (I missed this past Wednesday’s for the first time in weeks – boo- so this is for this coming Wednesday)
- Diane’s Real Food Weekly at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.
These are all blogs I read regularly and encourage you to support, as they provide lots of great inspiration and recipes.
Disclosures: General Disclosures