Kañiwa + Quinoa Salad with Grilled Veggies and Cilantro Tahini Dressing

12th June 2013

One of our favorite grilled main dish was the Kañiwa + Quinoa Salad with Grilled Veggies and Cilantro Tahini Dressing.  It was my first time to try and make Kañiwa, which is also called baby quinoa and it is a relative of quinoa. Kañiwa has a crunchy texture and a dark red color. It is much smaller than the regular quinoa. The combination of Kañiwa and quinoa was perfect, along with the cilantro tahini dressing, which was also our favorite sauce and condiment of the year. 


We used EVO Companion Classic Tabletop to grill vegetables: red, orange and yellow bell peppers, Vidalia onion (sweet onions), portobello mushrooms, and yellow summer squash. The grilled vegetable medley was seasoned with a bit of low-sodium soy sauce (you can use tamari) and sunflower oil.


The EVO Companion Classic Tabletop is a manually-controlled gas-fired flattop grill with a 25″ (635) diameter oil seasoned steel cook surface heated underneath by a single gas tube burner. The cook surface is durable and easy to clean. The Companion Classic Tabletop can be used to sear, sauté, flattop (plancha) grilling, toast and stir-fry directly, or indirectly, you can braise, poach or pan fry. By covering the cooking surface with its stainless steel hood, it becomes a “patio oven” for steaming, warming, roasting, or smoking, i.e., it melts vegan Daiya slices pretty well on the sautéed vegetables.


Kañiwa + Quinoa Salad with Grilled Veggies


For the Kañiwa + Quinoa Salad:
1 cup white quinoa
½ cup kañiwa
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vegetarian broth
2-3 packed cups wild arugula (or wild greens)
For the Grilled Veggies:
Sunflower or vegetable oil
3 large portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 yellow summer squash, roughly chopped
1 capsicum, seeded and roughly cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and roughly cut into strips
1 orange yellow pepper, seeded and roughly cut into strips
1 medium Vidalia onion (or WallaWalla), roughly sliced
A drizzle: low-sodium soy sauce or tamari depending on taste


Make Kañiwa + Quinoa Salad:

Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly with cool water. Drain.

In a 1-quart Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the drained and rinsed quinoa. Stir for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate. Add the Kañiwa and ensure it is slightly toasted. Add broth, stir in and bring to boil. Turn heat down to the lowest setting and cook covered for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove the pot and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. After 5 minutes, remove the lid, fluff the quinoa and Kañiwa gently with a fork. Remove from the pot and let the quinoa cool. Prepare wild arugula in a bowl. The wild arugula will serve as a base salad.

Make Grilled Veggies:

Meanwhile, prepare the tabletop grill OR preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the vegetables and 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (no olive oil).

Make sure the tabletop is greasy and hot enough. Add the vegetables and just let it cook on your tabletop OR working in batches, grill the vegetables, turning once, until nicely grill-marked and tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

After the vegetables are grilled, add the soy sauce (or tamari) quickly for 1-2 minutes. Remove immediately.

This is our favorite sauce: Cilantro Tahini Dressing. It is easy and quick to make, also versatile for a variety of dishes. We used the Cilantro Tahini Dressing as dips for raw veggies, as sauces on grains and tacos and among other dishes. I need to take a better photo of that.

Cilantro Tahini Dressing

Yield: about 1 cup


½ cup tahini
2 tablespoons unpasteurized, white miso
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon. tamari
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, patted dry, leaves removed, chopped
¼ cup filtered water, at room temperature


Mix this up in a food processor, blender or using an immersion hand blender in a 2-cup bowl.


Keeping: It can be kept in refrigerator for up to 1 week in a sealed glass container or jar with a lid. After being refrigerated, the sauce will thicken up due to tahini, stir it to use it.

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