Vegetarian Cucumber-Noodle Quinoa Salad

OK, so this is definitely a salad.  No doubt about it.  It is a cold salad with cucumbers, quinoa, and dressing.  My major learning project was not supposed to include salads at all – simply because that is what I am most familiar with making.  However, I found this recipe on Inspiralized – a well-known blog and recipe hub that focuses on spiral sliced vegetables.  The website is so easy to navigate and there are plenty of recipes to choose from.  I love the fact that there is an option to first choose which vegetable you want to “spiralize” and go from there.  I chose cucumber because I wanted to make something cold and fresh – perfect for a hot summer day in SASK.  The recipe is titled Chilled Spring Cucumber-Dill Salad with Cashews and Quinoa.  I was immediately drawn to the bright green colour and overall delicious ingredients.  I went out and bought the ingredients, picked some fresh dill from the garden, and began putting together the salad.

I actually own a vegetable spiral slicer already – one that is different from what is used on Inspiralized.  I purchased it from Bed, Bath and Beyond and it actually works quite well.  The one comment I would make is that it is better for large thin slices, in comparison to more noodle shaped slices.  In this case, the cucumber worked well.

Here is an actual video showing how to create these cucumber slices:

I laid out the cucumber slices on paper towel in order to soak up any extra liquid.  I then used my vegetable peeler to create thin slices of asparagus to add to the salad.  After chopping some unsalted cashews (which aren’t actually raw because it is impossible to eat raw cashews), fresh dill, green onion (which I decided to add to the recipe myself), I tossed all the ingredients together.  I also previously cooked 1/2 cup of quinoa, which was chilling in the fridge while I prepped the rest of the salad.  I whisked together the vinaigrette, using the ingredients the original recipe called for.

cuc1 cuc2 cuc3 cuc4 cuc5 cuc6 cuc7 cuc8 cuc9 cuc10 cuc11 cuc12 cuc13 cuc14 cuc15

Overall, this salad would be perfect for a hot summer day.  It would be a great choice for a family BBQ or gathering with friends during a summer afternoon on the deck.  I loved the simple dressing and the way the cucumbers acted as noodles in the salad.  I will definitely make this again as it is an easy and convenient vegetarian option.

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