Okay. This. Salad.
Healthy. Fresh. Sweet and tangy. There’s some crunch in there. There’s some fried stuff in there. But don’t worry. It’s pretty healthy.
Remember this vinaigrette? Yeah. SO good. And here it is dressing up this southern-style quinoa salad, because quinoa doesn’t always have to be exotic and far away country-ish. It can be dixie-like and close to home-ish too.
Lightly fried cornmeal-battered okra floating around with lima beans, red onion, celery, and tomatoes with some quinoa to make it super healthy and substantial. Then it’s drizzled with a sweet honey mustard vinaigrette. Totally yummy.
PS. The next post will have pictures from my vacation. Brace yourselves.
–This salad is best served immediately, because the okra will taste best and have the best texture coming right out of the oil. (But I totally ate this straight out of the fridge for 2 days afterwards and it was still delish.)
–Serve warm or cold. We ate it both ways.
–I wound up using all of the vinaigrette, but just pour some on and taste it, then use however much you want.
–Don’t overcook the limas because you want them to be semi-firm to hold up in the salad.
–You can use all water to make the quinoa, or you can use chicken stock or even a combo of both. Chicken stock will add extra flavor. I always keep boxes of organic chicken stock in my pantry.
- 2 cups water or chicken stock (I use organic) or a combination of both
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (I like to use organic)
- 1 pound okra, cut into ½—inch slices
- 1 cup cornmeal (I use organic and gluten free)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- Oil to fry okra in (I use avocado)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced (I use organic)
- ⅓ red onion, thinly sliced or chopped
- 2 cups cooked and cooled green baby lima beans
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 2 heaping tablespoons dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- Bring water and/or chicken stock and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for 15 minutes (or according to package directions). Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and come up to a depth of about ¼ inch. Stir together the okra, salt and pepper. Moisten the okra with water, then coat in the cornmeal mixture. Add okra to the hot oil in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet and keeping each piece from touching another so it won’t stick. Fry to golden brown, turning once. Remove to paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt and pepper.
- To make the vinaigrette, add all ingredients to a jar and shake well. Shake again before using on salad.
- Place the cooled quinoa in a large salad bowl with lots of room to toss, then add the tomatoes, onion, lima beans and celery. Drizzle with enough dressing to moisten it, then toss to coat. Add the okra and gently toss to coat again. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.