EatingWell Wednesday – Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops & Snow Peas

by Jennifer on May 27, 2009

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Why didn’t I think of that? Seriously, you all know I am a lover and believer in Quinoa (a complete protein) yet I had never thought of toasting it. Luckily, the folks at Eating Well Magazine did and created a fabulous recipe titled ‘Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops & Snow Peas‘* that I made and devoured most of it. Do not let the word ‘salad’ in the title throw you off, this is a main course to me and the fact that scallops were involved, was a shoe-in that the hubby would love it. (I ate a bunch without any: great vegetarian dish). Actually, this would be fantastic with shrimp as well. You may also notice that this recipe also includs sesame oil which I just used in my fiddleheads recipe last week. I must say that I do enjoy the flavor of sesame oil but use just a touch to see how you feel about it as it has a strong flavor so a dash goes a long way.

Also, if you are on Twitter, you can find me @savorthethyme. If you are not using Twitter, why not?

12 ounces dry sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or dry bay scallops
4 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce, divided
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well
2 teaspoons grated or minced garlic
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced snow peas (1/2 inch thick)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Toss scallops with 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce) in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Place a large, high-sided skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until the quinoa begins to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover and cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Do not stir.) Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in snow peas, cover and let stand for 5 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, whisk 3 tablespoons canola oil, the remaining 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce), vinegar and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and snow peas, scallions and bell pepper; toss to combine.

4. Remove the scallops from the marinade and pat dry. Heat a large skillet over medium-high until hot enough to evaporate a drop of water upon contact. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil and cook the scallops, turning once, until golden and just firm, about 2 minutes total. Gently stir the scallops into the quinoa salad. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.

* I halved the recipe and it worked perfectly.

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