Friday, September 28, 2012

Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Citrus Champagne Vinaigrette

My blog this time is about flavors instead of spices.   I love this salad  because it has all flavors we are familiar with in one bite: bitter(arugula), sweet(canteloupe or honeydew and orange), sour(champagne vinegar and lime), salty(hickory smoke tofurky or smart bacon or tempeh bacon), creamy(soy feta or daiya cheese) and savory/earthy(garbanzos or chickpeas and quinoa). I've been eating a lot of salad and fresh vegetables as summer is still strong in my area.    It  really is an endless summer!    I am sharing this good and refreshing salad.  It's a light meal in itself and I hope you will enjoy it. 

The following are the ingredients I used in the salad:

From top left, clockwise: fresh baby arugula, cooked quinoa, soy feta, cooked chickpeas/garbanzos, sliced red onion, sliced hickory smoke tofurky, and ripe canteloupe 

About the 'cheese':  In this version, I used Soy Feta by Sunergia Foods, about 1/2 a block.  However, you are welcome to substitute it with other white vegan cheese such asi Daiya Mozzarella or omit it.

About the 'the smoky things':  Our favorite smoky seitan is Hickory Smoked Tofurky Deli Slices.  I sliced and separated them thinly.  You are also welcome to replace it with other smoky vegan bacon such as tempeh bacon or smart bacon from LightLife.

About the champagne vinegar and oil (see picture below):  I found Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar at Trader Joe's that was perfect for this salad dressing.  However, you may find other champagne vinegar at a different store.  I also love to use Roasted Walnut Oil (see below).   You may use any other kind of oil such as olive oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil.

Vinaigrette ingredients: roasted walnut oil, orange muscat champagne vinegar (or any other champagne vinegar), fresh orange juice, and fresh lime juice.
Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Citrus Champagne Vinaigrette
Serve 4-6

Salad ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
6 cups arugula
2 cups ripe canteloupe or honeydew, cut in julienne
Note:  use a ripe melon by choosing a white and creamy color skin (avoid the greenish one)
1 cup cooked garbanzo or chickpea beans
1 cup Hickory Smoked Tofurky deli slices or tempeh bacon or smart bacon
1 to 1.5 cup thinly sliced red onions
Note: I prefer to mascerate the red onions in the vinaigrette so they are not too strong or oniony
1/2 block of Soy Feta, crumbled, optional

  1. Combine the ingredients above, except red onions (see below).
  2. Add vinaigrette (recipe below) and crumbled soy feta.  Add more ground black pepper to taste.

Citrus Champagne Vinaigrette ingredients:
3 Tbsp. oil (can be roasted walnut oil, olive oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil)
3-5 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar (I used Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (without seeds and pulps)
1/4 cup fesh lime juice (without seeds and pulps)
1-2 tsp. agave nectar (depending how sweet is the orange juice)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk oil and vinegar together in a small bowl until it is emulsified and creamy.  Vinaigrette usually has the same amount of oil and vinegar but I added more vinegar in my dressing for a low fat version.  I also added more fruit juices.
  2. Add fruit juices and continue whisking.  Taste and add agave nectar.  If the orange juice is pretty sweet, I only add 1 tsp. 
  3. Add salt and ground black pepper.  Combine and whisk some more.  This dressing is supposed to be tangy, sweet, and salty.
  4. I like to soak the thinly slice red onions in this dressing so they are mascerated and becomes soft before I add them to the salad (about 30 minutes).  This way the onions are not too strong.  If you like strong onions flavor, you can skip this step.
Nutrition Facts (without the soy feta)
Serving Size
1 serving (245.1 g)
Amount Per Serving Calories 214
Total Fat 9.1g, Saturated Fat 0.8g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 255mg,Total Carbohydrates 28.8g
Dietary Fiber 3.7g, Sugars 8.9g, Protein 6.1g

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