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Saturday, 9 June 2012

Quinoa Salad with Miso Orange Dressing

My allergy to nuts and seeds sometimes limit the different kinds of foods I could have. Beans and pulses are my main protein source although a good amount of raw fresh living foods do provide for amino acids which is essentially what the body needs. In that respect, if anything but for their great taste, nuts are not actually missed in my diet! Sure thing that they could be a handy snack but I tend to snack more on fruits which is much lighter and refreshing.

Quinoa is one tasty grain I resort to when I get tired of pulses and other beans. Much lighter on the stomach, yet very filling, it can replace rice while providing a higher amount of protein and amino acids. Quinoa is literally one of my regular packed lunches as it does not necessarily need to be consumed warm. Its preparation does not require much effort; it only takes about 20 minutes to boil, no pre-soaking required. Salad is quite handily my favourite dish from it and miso dressing marries it very well to my taste.

On another note, did you know that miso can actually help protect against radiation sickness? So does Wikipedia tell me:
"Some, especially proponents of healthful eating, suggest that miso can help treat radiation sickness, citing cases in Japan and Russia where people have been fed miso after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Notably, Japanese doctor Shinichiro Akizuki, director of Saint Francis Hospital in Nagasaki during World War II, theorized that miso helps protect against radiation sickness."

Quinoa Salad with Miso Orange Dressing
Ingredients (serves 2)

1/2 cup quinoa
4-5 cherry tomatoes
Handful beansprouts
Bunch parsley (a few stems), finely chopped

1 heaped teaspoon miso paste (I used dark hatcho miso)
1/4 or 1/2 of an orange
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Cracked dried chilies (optional)
Salt to taste

Iceberg lettuce leaves for serving

  • Boil quinoa according to package instructions. (All water should be absorbed). Let cool completely.
  • Cut tomatoes into halves or quarters.
  • Squeeze the juice out of the orange wedge. Mix all ingredients of the dressing into a smooth paste.
  • Add dressing to quinoa along with all the other ingredients.
  • Leave to macerate for about 10 minutes before serving.
This salad stores well overnight in the fridge for your next day's packed lunch.

You can serve this just tossed into a lettuce leaf.

Or wrapped in an iceberg lettuce leaf. Secure with a toothpick.

The recipe yields 2 servings and the nutrition facts below are based on 1 serving.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1 serving (186.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 14% Vitamin C 37%
Calcium 7% Iron 15%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

*Nutrition values are an approximation based on ingredients that I have used in this recipe. It will vary with the ingredients (different brands) that you use and portion size.


  1. wow it looks delicious! I love miso ...the wrap looks really good. Quinoa is really an incredible grain !

  2. Oh my goodness! I love these pictures so much - and the nutritional factors! ^^ I've never had quinoa, but I think if I used this dressing over some yummy brown rice then it would still be great!

  3. Yes Bou (AikoVenus), I sometimes substitute the quinoa with brown rice and lentils. Very nice. I thought of putting up the nutrition facts because I used to do this for myself at some point, but now I no longer count calories. But I think some people might find it helpful.

  4. I'm a big fan of quinoa for packed lunches - boil it up, add some veggies and a bit of dressing, and it's done. I love miso dressing, such a nice flavour!

  5. This looks delicious...I am going to try this one...and I enjoyed the post on the scones...very informative...Lovely blog.. I will definitely being visiting often...:)

    Peace <3

  6. I've been wanting to try quinoa for a while now, but I just haven't yet for some reason. These recipes looks so good though, so I think I'll add it to my menu for next week :) Thanks for sharing!


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