Quick Fix: Mixed-Mushroom Salad

Sometimes you need a meal you can pull together out of just what happens to be in your cabinets. This is one of those meals…

The other day I found several jars of marinated mushrooms, at the Dollar Store of all places. I picked up several different kinds… the one here was a mix of different mushroom types, which makes it even more interesting, but regular marinated mushrooms work as well. The nice thing about mushrooms is that they add a meaty-ness to a meatless dish, which works well here. Add in that quinoa (which is high in protein) and the chickpeas, and you have a very healthy and tasty meatless meal, which still feels satisfying.

This type of meal is more of a how-to than a recipe, so adapt it to what you happen to have on hand. No quinoa? Try rice, couscous, or orzo. No yellow squash or red bell pepper? Sub in thinly sliced carrots, green bell pepper, zucchini, or even celery. No marinated mixed mushrooms? Try regular marinated mushrooms, or a jar of other marinated veggies.

Mixed Mushroom and Quinoa Salad

Makes a meal for 2 or a side-dish for 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • ~3/4 c summer squash and red bell peppers, sliced thinly
  • 1 jar marinated mixed mushrooms (reserve liquid)
  • ~1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped, or 1 green onion, chopped
  • Soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice vinegar
  • Sprig of basil, sprig of mint (to taste)

Step 1:

Cook your Quinoa according to package directions.  When you have about 5 minutes left to go, add your squash and red bell pepper to the pot to steam.

When quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Step 2:

  • Drain your mushrooms, reserving the marinade liquid.
  • In a bowl, combine mushrooms, chickpeas, onions, quinoa, and vegetables and stir.
  • Chop your basil and mint coarsely, and add to the bowl, reserving a small amount for garnish.

In another small bowl stir together equal parts of soy, vinegar, and reserved marinade.  (start with a couple of tablespoons of each.)

Add, a little at a time, to your bowl, stirring.  You want to coat the ingredients, but not have liquid in the bottom of the bowl.  [Save any liquid that you don’t use, if the mixture looks too dry, you can add additional liquid prior to serving, or save for another use.]  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour, or until cool.

Serve as is, or over a bed of lettuce.  Top with reserved herbs.

Works as a side dish, or a vegetarian main dish.

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