Confetti Quinoa

Work lunch today was Panera.  It was really easy to skip the meat.  I ordered a “You Pick Two” with black bean soup and the Mediterranean veggie sandwich.  I had never tried that sandwich before, but it was very good!

Dinner tonight was adapted from the Toasted Millet and Confetti Vegetable Salad with Sesame and Soy Dressing from Cooking Light.  I saw this recipe on The Front Burner and thought it looked pretty – and tasty!  And with my birthday coming up (I’m not counting down or anything), I thought a confetti celebration dinner would be perfect.

I had to make a few changes to the recipe though, based on the ingredients I had on hand.  First, I made the dressing.  I didn’t have sesame oil, so I substituted with peanut oil.  I didn’t have canola oil, so I substituted with olive oil.  I didn’t have fresh ginger, so I used ground.  And I threw in some extra garlic.

My next substitution was the millet.  I couldn’t find any at Kroger, so I used quinoa instead.  I’ve never cooked with quinoa before, so i wasn’t sure what to expect.  It looked interesting.

I used 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water.  At the same time I had a few side projects going.  This recipe really required a lot of bowls, pots and pans!  One for the dressing, one for the quinoa, one for the carrots, one for the walnuts… it made for a bit mess in the kitchen.

I should have boiled the carrots a little longer, they weren’t quite soft enough.  I also decided that I didn’t want to eat the bell peppers and onions raw, so I sautéed them in a little olive oil with pepper.

All the colors mixed together made for a pretty meal.

Just stick a candle in it!

This was a really good dinner, aside from the mess I made creating it.  Pat and I agreed that even without meat, this one was filling.  The quinoa was a little different.  I would still prefer brown rice, but I liked the texture and it went well with this meal.  Those dark pieces are walnuts roasted in soy sauce – so good!  I probably burned them just a little, but Pat thought they were perfect.

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