Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Quinoa Salad with Brussels Sprouts and Sesame Dressing

When I shop for the meals I plan each week as well as our "essential" weekly groceries, I am very systematic and go shopping with a detailed, organized grocery list. I actually “map out the store” in my head, knowing on which side I will enter it, and write my list accordingly. The little bit of extra planning makes my grocery trips fast and efficient, which is often a necessity with a moody toddler. Also, having a plan helps me to buy only what I truly need and therefore helps us save money.

While having a list and a plan while grocery shopping is great, I truly enjoy exploring the grocery store. It’s one of my little, infrequent, special treats. I like to look at all the wonderful produce, chat with the produce guy to find out which one is the freshest, and get inspired. Right now this is a luxury that rarely happens. Fortunately, when I was at the grocery store over the weekend, I did get to explore a bit and got inspired by some beautiful Brussels sprouts. I had also been meaning to make a new dish with quinoa, and the idea of a quinoa salad with Brussels sprouts was born right then and there. I decided to roast/bake the Brussels sprouts and dress the salad with an Asian-inspired sesame dressing.

I cut the ends off the Brussels sprouts, took off the outer leaves, and cut each sprout in half. I mixed the sprouts with a bit of oil and salt and pepper. Then I put them on a lined baking sheet.

Brussels Sprouts 01

I baked the sprouts at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Brussels Sprouts 02

In the meantime, I cooked the quinoa for about 12 minutes according to the directions on the box (1 part quinoa to 2 parts water). I used about 3 cups cooked quinoa in this dish. (I cooked a lot more but used it for another dish later that day.)

Brussels Sprouts 03

Then I added the roasted Brussels sprouts to the quinoa.

Brussels Sprouts 04

I made a sesame dressing with the following ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • toasted sesame seeds

I poured the dressing over the quinoa and Brussels sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts 05

And here is the finished product. Not the most beautiful dish but very tasty.

Brussels Sprouts 06

By the way, when I was younger, I really didn’t like Brussels sprouts. And we had them a lot since my mom grew them in her garden. I think it was the smell that bothered me. And I still think that Brussels sprouts smell very peculiar, but the smell doesn’t really bother me anymore. It was funny however when hubby kept accusing the toddler that he was in need of a new diaper when that was not the case at all…


  1. Do you shop with a shopping list and are focused and efficient when you grocery shop? Or do you like to explore? Or maybe both, depending on the situation?
  2. Do you like Brussels sprouts? If so, what’s your favorite way to eat them?
  3. And for our November Flossing Challenge participants, did you floss?

Be well,



  1. I didn't floss last night, but I have decided to do it every other day, since my gums were still a bit swollen from the night before (yeah, I RARELY floss! My gums aren't used to it).

    I love brussel sprouts and I prepare them SO similar to how you did. In fact, just the same, maybe with a couple more spices.

    I also map out the store like you do. When I create my list I make sure it's in order of how I browse through the store, starting with produce, ending with cosmetics!

  2. Oh my, that looks amazing! Two of my favorite foods and I don't know why I've never thought to combine them.

    Unfortunately, I'm not a very organized shopper, despite my best efforts. I have a list, sure, but I often stray from it and sometimes even forget it, which results in a return trip back to the store. But then I do the whole "oh, I don't want to buy *just* almond milk, so I need to get something else..." which leads to more new stuff. It's a problem. Ha!

    I love roasted brussels with balsamic and shallots! :)

  3. Quinoa salad sounds delicious, the sesame dressing sounds excellent! I have never cooked brussels sprouts. I really should!

  4. I am a grab on the go shopper and I'm sure that means I spend more than I should. But I am VERY good at making sure everything in our fridge gets eaten.

    I love Brussels sprouts but I have an embarrasing confession to make: I have never eaten fresh Brussels sprouts, only frozen. I am inspired to try the fresh ones!

    Love Quinoa. It is such a perfect food. Well Done Andrea. and good on ya for flossing :)

  5. YES I flossed...twice actually

    I love to be super efficient AND I love to browse the ailes...but the browse is a relaxing luxury and most shopping ventures lately are CHORES

    I love brussell sprouts but anytime I cook:
    brussel sprouts
    or Collard greens

    I get "it smells like an old folks home)

    so I don't cook them often.

    baking Kale seems to be not offensive.
    I am going to give roasting brussels a shot!

    Y. U. M.

  6. What a great sounding recipe! I love brussel sprouts!

    I always shop with a list. I'm generally more focused at the store where I do the "main" haul, but I do love to browse the bigger store which is much better stocked. I don't do regular shopping there because I'd spend way to much money!!

  7. I usually don't have a list but my husband uses a list just so we don't forget something we really need, like toilet paper. I am pretty familait with the layout (seeing as this is sorta part of my job, I have done stuff with grocery stores before), so I realy just go with it and usually I do not forget any major things we need.

    I do not like brussel sprouts, but I also haven't tried them in a while, so I think I may buy them at the commissary since I saw some there and they do look good.

    I am hoping when I am at the store tomorrow I can locate some floss that won't kill me (not only the mint, but I am allergic to the cinnamon flavored one too).

  8. I do like brussel sprouts, but my husband does not! So I get them all to myself :)

    I shop with a plan, too. I have to to stick to our budget every week.

  9. i didn't floss....

    i've never had brussel sprouts...

    i'm a crushing disappointment!

    Although, I DO map out the grocery store and I WILL be trying your yummy salad dressing!

  10. I LOVE making lists for everything, I am a freak about it. But I will go "off list" if inspiration strikes. I love, and have always loved, brussels sprouts. I like to saute them in butter with salt and pepper til beginning to brown and then finish then with a squeeze of fresh lime. Your dish looks delish.

  11. I don't usually make lists when I go shopping (on the rare occasions that I do, I'll write cryptic descriptions like, "green" or "starchy.") However, I LOVE to list what I already have in columns by food group, then look it over and highlight stuff that goes together. (I make each dish a different color). Is that obsessive much??

  12. I have to make lists for the grocery or else I'll come back without the essential milk/bread/toilet paper and instead have a half-price rejected sheet cake that says "Happy Blirthday, Brabra!" and an unhealthy quantity of seasonal fruit I couldn't possibly eat before it rots.

    ...All this being said, I love this recipe. I've been on a brussel sprout kick lately so it's good timing!

    Peas Love Carrots

  13. I do shop with a list, and I do like brussels sprouts, and this looks fantastic!

  14. Beautiful meal...Linda over at One Scoop at a Time also has a meal with Brussels sprouts posted....I'm being inspired!

    I usually shop with a list, very similar to you- I try to make the list match the layout of the store with the goal of being very efficient. When I have more time though, I do like to wander and check out new and different foods.

    I haven't flossed yet today, but I will definitely do it before bed!!

  15. Oh that dressing looks great! I always go with a list but like to explore within that - "cereal" could mean 100 things depending on what I'm in the mood for, etc!...

  16. I do shop with a list, but a lot of the times I'll end up getting stuff not on my list. I'm sort of the Go-with-the-flow with that I can possibly cook for the week.

    Brussel sprout = yes!

  17. You are using all my favorite ingredients! I can't wait to try this!

  18. Healthy and beautiful. That's what this dish looksl like to me. I wish I had a fork to try some. ;)

  19. That is just an amazing dish - so nutritious and tasty!

    I do use a list, stay focused on it, but even then I do buy extras here and there. Not usually anything bad, but just not on the list!

  20. I'm not a huge fan of brussel sprouts, but I've only had them once in my life. Maybe it could be prepared better? I'm willing to give it a second try tho.

  21. Ok, I am definitely trying that sesame dressing sometime SOON! Do you think I could just use regular rice vinegar, though?

    You are so organized with your shopping! I agree that it does help to save money and keep the focus on healthy necessities. Lately I've been making my plan/list and sending Hubs to the store for me--that way I can't pick up any extras!

  22. Oh P.S.
    I love eating brussel sprouts! I roast them just like you do--sometimes adding a little maple syrup + salt!

  23. LOL on the toddler diaper change and those sneaky brussels sprouts - always trying to blame it on the next guy!

    This dish looks great! Simple and delicious, perfecto!

    LOL - edited to add... my word verification just now was "Fanting" hahaha!

  24. That looks plenty gorgeous, and yummy!! I admit, I've never been a huge brussel sprout fan, but seeing so many people roast it and give it that gorgeous caramelized color has made me put it on the list as a side dish for Thanksgiving. And quinoa -- love, love, love it. Great grain and so versatile!

  25. The brussels sprouts recipe looks so tempting especially with that sesame dressing lol! Just how can I resist! hmm... mm...

  26. what a delicious and healthful salad! I have to admit I'm not too crazy about brussels sprouts but I am willing to give them a second chance. I think since you cooked the brussels sprouts they probably taste a lot better

  27. Great salad & great dressing!