Mango Quinoa Salad

Cooking while on our vacation in the East Coast was, unfortunately, nonexistent...despite our best intentions. I told Todd that I would be just fine abstaining from Chipotle for the next 6-12 months, which is convenient since Alaska doesn't have any. So. Many. Sofritas. (That's their new vegan tofu burrito.) Yep, it's nice to be home and actually be able to form a meal once again. I was feeling pretty yucky-tummy due to the 10-day round of antibiotics coupled with two weeks of bagels, beer, burritos, pita chips, and hummus. So much hummus, you guys.

Anyway, this Mango Quinoa Salad is the absolute perfect combination of plant-protein, fresh herbs, crunchy nuts, and sweet fruit to refresh my palate and cleanse my body. I'm happily saying ta-ta to travel snacks, for a looong time. 

Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad

Clean eating at it's yummiest!

Mango Quinoa Salad

Serves 4-6

  • Quinoa:
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa (I use red)
  • 3 cups water
  • Sustenance: 
  • 1-2 ripe mango(s), peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 onion)
  • 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro (leaves and stems), chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice 
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vegan sugar 
  • pinch of black pepper

In a large saucepan, bring the quinoa and the water to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, until the water is gone. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside until ready to use. 

Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad

Meanwhile, combine the sustenance ingredients in a large serving bowl. 

Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. 

Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad

When the quinoa is done, add it to the sustenance mixture and stir well to combine. 

Drizzle the dressing over the mixture and stir well to coat.

Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad

Allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Can be served warm or cold.  

Produce On Parade - Mango Quinoa Salad

Listening to Lorde – Buzzcut Season

German Word of The Day: To travel --> reisen (pronounced: rye-zen)

Good Deed of The Day: Oh SeaWorld, why won't you just go away already? Sign this petition to humanely release the Orca whale known as Tilikum to a sea pen for rehab.

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Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls

I'm getting a little weary of the same old boring, predictable spring roll. You too? Never fear! Allow me to introduce these Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls. A refreshing and unique take on the typical spring roll, but still tasty enough to satisfy even the most snobby of spring roll eaters (such as myself). Perhaps the greatest thing of all though, aside from how incredibly delicious these are, is how quick and easy they are to make too! Produce on Parade: Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls

Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls

Inspired by Tales of a Kitchen

Makes 7 spring rolls

  • -For the Pesto
  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves (half a large container, or two little containers)
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 small knob of ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid amino acids or soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lime or a few squirts of bottled lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. honey or sweetener of choice
  • -For the Rolls
  • 7 rice paper sheets
  • about 70 grams of uncooked rice vermicelli noodles or about 1/4 of the box
  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage, thinly sliced into strips
  • 3 green onions, sliced in half (optional)
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling

First on the list, put a small pot of water on to boil.

While the water works it's way to a boil, wash and dry the basil then place in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients for the pesto. Now give them a good whirl about! Make sure to stop and scrape the bowl occasionally. This should only take a minute or two, or until it looks like...well...pesto. Hurray for pesto! So easy, right?

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If by now the water is boiling, remove from heat and add in the noodles. Let bathe for about 10 minutes, giving them a gentle stir occasionally. This is what my package of noodles recommended, however, others may differ so be sure to check the instructions.  While the noodles are softening, slice up the cabbage and green onions.

When the noodles are done, drain them. Gathering the noodles and the veggies, congregate everything at your designated "rolling station" area. Gather a large plate with a rim or a pie dish and fill it with hot water. Not boiling mind you, your fingers have to be able to stand it! Bring that to your station as well.

Produce on Parade: Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls

I like to roll up my spring rolls on a plate, but you can do it on the table, counter, baking sheet, whatever. Dip one rice sheet in the hot water and let it sit, submerged for about 10 seconds or so. I place my fingers atop to drown it and also so I can feel when the sheet is ready. It shouldn't be too mushy or too stiff. Carefully lift it out of the water and place it on the rolling surface, ensuring there aren't any large folds.

Produce on Parade: Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls

Next, place 1/7 or about 1 Tbsp. of pesto in the middle of the sheet and smear it to make it even.

Add an even pile of cabbage, followed by a green onion strip and finally sprinkle with sesame seeds. Try to keep everything in order. A stray, crazy cabbage arm could poke a hole through the sheet, so keep those hooligans in line!

Fold the left and right side up first so they are almost touching in the middle, then fold the bottom portion up and over the two sides (like an envelope) and finally from the bottom, roll the entire spring roll towards the top! Now you have a spring roll! Do a little dance.

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Produce on Parade: Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls

Here's a picture demonstration from Keep Your Diet Real for those more visual learners...

Produce on Parade: Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls

These rolls are so good, no sauce is necessary. Yes, you read that right. If for some crazy reason you really, really need a sauce or just plain don't trust me, whip up some peanut butter, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and/or mirin and voila! There's so much flavor packed into these little buggers though, it would just be redundant.

Produce on Parade: Fresh Thai Pesto and Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls

Perhaps the tastiest spring roll I've ever had. Did I mention it's vegan, too!? I actually whipped up another batch in the morning for lunch! Can't let that basil go to waste...nom nom nom.