*All bragging rights for the Quin-wow name belong strictly to Eric. Until I googled it….
Last night, when I fell in love with this salad, I came to two conclusions.
1. I cannot call this the quinoa, bok choy, feta, strawberry salad with toasted almonds and sesame seeds. Well, I could. But how much fun is it to say Quin-wow?
Especially if you say it, emphasizing the wow, like the shamWOW guy…. quin-WOW!
2. This is so flippin good.
My aunt makes a sinfully decadent bok choy salad. I chose the word sinfully for a reason. It involves heavy amounts of butter, ramen noodles (yes, frying the already fried ramen) and a CUP of sugar in the dressing. 30 year old Marnie wasn’t nearly as excited about this recipe. So I decided to omit the ramen and save the sugar for my cookies.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my sugar. I just think it has it’s place.
Sugar belongs in monster cookies. Sugar belongs in the icing on my cake. Sugar belongs in my sent-straight-from-heaven, I’m talking no detours or stops on the way, root beer float.
Sugar does not belong in my salad. At least not in that quantity. In my opinion.
But then again I recently fell in love with a burger at Crawfish Junction that involves peanut butter, honey and granny smith apples. So take my opinion at your own discretion.
I was simply ecstatic about creating a dish that is both healthy and delish. (Not always easy to come by I’m sure you can all agree.) I started by substituting the ramen for quinoa. Quinoa is a grain similar to couscous, but, in my opinion, better. It’s packed with protein, dietary fiber and iron. Also, it contains a bunch of essential amino acids we need as humans. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)
Then I decided to use strawberries for the sweet and well… I still have a lot of feta. I think chèvre could be used in place of the feta, if preferred. I could eat chèvre by the spoonful. My excuse? I’m from Wisconsin. We take our cheese seriously here. And by seriously I mean we enjoy it. Often.
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups bok choy, chopped, using only a small portion of the leafy greens, mostly stems
1 cup strawberries, quarterd
2 green onions, sliced thin
¼ cup feta cheese
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp balsamic glaze, plus more for drizzle
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
½ cup almonds, sliced
¼ cup sesame seeds
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Once melted, add the almonds and sesame seeds. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until browned. Immediately remove from heat and place in a bowl to cool.
In a separate large bowl, mix the quinoa, bok choy, strawberries, onion and feta.
In another small bowl, combine the vegetable oil, glaze and pepper. Mix with a whisk until incorporated. Add to the quinoa mixture.
Just before serving, toss with the toasted almonds and sesame seeds and lightly drizzle the additional balsamic glaze over the salad to taste.