Asian Cabbage Salad with a twist

I remember trying Asian Cabbage Salad for the first time when I was in middle school. One of my mom's friends brought it over for dinner and I loved it. The combination of the crunch, the flavors, and the colors all combine to make a perfect salad. From then on we would make it with shredded cabbage, roasted sesame seeds, crushed up ramen noodles and various veggies.

With summer quickly approaching my husband requested that we reduce our carb in take. I initially thought, hmmm we do not eat many carbs but felt up to the challenge. When I decided to throw together an Asian themed dinner I thought I could substitute the ramen noodles which do not provide any nutritious value to our meal for toasted quinoa which has fiber and protein. Over the past few years I I have prepared a lot of quinoa dishes by simply cooking it in boiling water but I have wanted to mix it up and think this is a great new way to eat quinoa. 

How to: Roast Quinoa

To toast the quinoa, add 1/2 cup of dried quinoa to a heavy bottom cast iron pot/skillet. Add in about 1/4 cup of water to moisten all of the quinoa. I also stirred in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Place the pot over medium heat and stir every few minutes, pushing the quinoa into a single layer along the bottom of the pot. The quinoa will start to pop and brown. The aroma of toasty quinoa will start to fill the kitchen. You can prepare a large batch and store the toasted quinoa in an air tight container to quickly add to salads and other dishes throughout the week.

Approximately 7 minutes on the stove, beautifully brown, toasted quinoa.

Approximately 7 minutes on the stove, beautifully brown, toasted quinoa.

I used my Le Crueset cast iron pot to toast the quinoa. I love it because it is very easy to clean. You can also roast the quinoa in the oven in a single layer in a shallow baking dish at 425 degrees for approximately 5-8 minutes until golden brown. I  will definitely be using toasted quinoa in more dishes so stayed tuned.

Asian Cabbage Salad with Toasted Quinoa-

Asian Cabbage Salad

  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup toasted quinoa
  • 2 TB toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • optional: shredded chicken
  • Dressing:
  • 2 TB Rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (last night I was out so used 1 teaspoon soy sauce)
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, toasted quinoa and sliced almonds.

2. Toast quinoa and sesame seeds over medium heat in a heavy cast iron pan.

3. In a small bowl combined dressing ingredients, whisking until well combined. Poor dressing over salad and mix.