You can have a lot of fun with this salad. Come up with your own veggies to fill in the spokes of the color wheel, there are so many combinations to try. I thought it up the other night when I was lying in bed and couldn't sleep. Usually if I start trying to come up with new ideas for the blog, it's a sure fire way to fall asleep fast. Only this time it backfired...I spent the better part of the night tossing and turning trying to think of a blue food!
Quinoa is an ancient crop from South America, and it's really more of a seed than a cereal or grain. It has a nice firm, nutty texture, and you can substitute it for rice or pasta as a side dish or in cold salads. I try to explore as many new foods as I can, not only because of possible health benefits, but because it keeps things from getting boring.
The dressing is simple but gives this salad a real kick. It's just sesame oil, garlic, lime and mint, but all four of those ingredients are powerful flavors.
Combine all the veggies with the quinoa, breaking up any clumps of quinoa as you toss.. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste In a small food processor, or with a sharp knife, finely mince the garlic and mint. whisk or pulse in the oil and lime juice. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Toss the dressing with the quinoa, and refrigerate until chilled.
I love this purple cauliflower, it represents the violet part of the spectrum beautifully. Why no blue foods? I've heard one theory that the color blue is an appetite suppressant. Another says that the blue color in nature is associated with poisonous plants and so humans have evolved to avoid it. The pigment itself is apparently difficult to isolate so it doesn't show up in hybrids.