quinoa salad

Quinoa Salad With A Hint Of Thai

Quinoa Salad

Fast, Healthy, Tasty Quinoa Salad Recipe

There is something exquisitely refreshing about a quinoa salad. Quinoa itself is such a great product to work with because of it’s ease of use, high protein and nutritional content, and subtle flavor; and when combined with vegetables, the result is something both refreshing and satisfying.  When that combination is enhanced with Thai flavors the end result is a phenomenal dish with depth, texture, and an enticing appeal.   All at one time it is soft, crunchy, sweet, savory and acidic with that signature peanut flavor accompanied by a little heat.  Together this salad just “wakes up” your taste buds making you go back for more!

Another benefit is that, this quinoa salad  can be enjoyed warm or cold and is really easy to make, so it is especially great for pot lucks, picnics or to pack in lunches when traveling.

quinoa salad


Serves 2-3


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 scallions , finely sliced (white and light green potions only)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (add about a handful)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flake
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • Juice of 4 limes
  • ½ tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt



First, thoroughly rinse the quinoa and drain. When this is done heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil.   Add the quinoa to the saucepan and toast for a minute or two while stirring.

Once the quinoa is toasted, pour in the water and add a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.  Allow the quinoa to cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes or so.  Make sure all the liquid is completely absorbed.  After this time transfer the quinoa into a large bowl and fluff with a fork.  This is an important step to prevent “clumping”.   Allow the quinoa to cool.

As the quinoa is cooling make the vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredient together. Season with some salt to taste and set aside.  Finish the salad by adding the vegetables to the quinoa.  Add as much vinaigrette as desired and toss.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

At this point you can serve the quinoa salad now or chill in the fridge and serve cold. Either way is delicious.

In the end you have a beautiful Thai quinoa salad. This dish captures you with its lovely colors, draws you in with its aroma and keeps you coming back for more with its balanced flavor combination. All the components meld together flawlessly to create an impeccable plate that can serve as a side dish or main course.

Here is a video of  a Thai Quinoa Salad recipe slightly different from the recipe listed here.   Since this recipe is so versatile, it’s easy to make slight variations in a recipe based on your family’s taste preferences.   You may try these additional variations (like the ginger) or stick to the recipe your first time around to see what you prefer:


For other quinoa salad variation ideas, check out these resources:

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing ...Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing …


Thai Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Lime Vinaigrette - Once ...Thai Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Lime Vinaigrette – Once …


Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad - Life Over Cancer BlogCashew Thai Quinoa Salad – Life Over Cancer Blog



Ceviche Recipe

Ceviche Recipe


ceviche recipe

Most Americans have never heard of Ceviche, (pronounced “si-VEE-chay”) but in parts of South America and Peru, it is so popular that ceviche cooking competitions are highly anticipated celebrations.   Ceviche is a wonderfully light and refreshing dish composed of fish or shellfish, marinated in an acid marinate like lemon and lime juice.   The acids in the lime marinate bind the protein and essentially “cook” it though without using heat.  For this reason it is typically served at room temperature or cold.

Since there is no frying or baking of the fish / shrimp, there is no worry of cooking till tough or overcooking.  The shrimp end up perfectly “cooked”,  have great acidity, and blend perfectly with the spices and vegetables mixed with it.  In fact, preparing Ceviche is relatively quick and easy process, taking no more than a couple minutes at most.

Traditional Peruvian Ceviche is cooked with a vegetable that is unfamiliar in North America – the “choclo”, which resembles over- sized kernels of corn.  Also included are red onions and native hot chilies, and served with sweet potato or baked corn chips.   In America, we may want to use part of a fresh habanero in place of the Peruvian pepper.   The onions and other additions add texture, subtle sweetness and flavor complexity making the ceviche recipe “pop” on your taste buds.

ceviche recipe The only way to complete the plate is by adding a crunchy element.  What better way to add that crunch than baked tortilla chips?  They are a healthy alternative that taste even better than the fried version.  When these two components combine they create the perfect bite.


Serves 6
The ceviche:

1 lb. high quality shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup finely diced tomato, seeded
1 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 small shallot, minced
1 avocado, diced
1 serrano chili, minced

The chips:

½ 12 oz. package of corn tortillas
3 tablespoons lime juice
Chili powder
Vegetable oil

ceviche recipeDirections:

Begin by cutting the shrimp into thin pieces to ensure that the acidity from the lime juice cooks them through. Once the shrimp are cut into pieces place them into a large non-aluminum mixing bowl and pour in the lime juice. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

During that 15 minutes add the tomato, cucumber, cilantro, shallot and serrano chili into a separate bowl with the lemon juice. Mix. When the 15 minutes have passed and the shrimp is cooked add the vegetables to the shrimp. Season with salt and mix until well combined. Place into the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour.

As the ceviche is chilling preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges and place onto the baking sheet. Lightly drizzle the tortilla wedges with oil and lime juice. Toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer and sprinkle with chili powder and salt to taste.

Place them into the oven to bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Then flip the chips and bake on the other side until golden and crispy.

Then remove the tortilla chips from the oven and allow to cool. Once the chips are cool, serve them alongside the ceviche and dig in!

ceviche recipeIn the end you have a bright dish that is appealing to both the eyes and the taste buds. Just be sure that the ceviche is cold before serving. The low temperature allows all the flavors to shine through.

I know you will love this video with Bobby Flay.  This clip is from an episode of Boy Meets Grill where he is in New York cooking up a traditional Peruvian dinner including Ceviche!

Click Here to go directly to this video’s You Tube page

Attribution for images:  Snipped from bobby flay’s video seen above, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceviche



vegetarian recipes

Vegetarian Recipes – Raw Burrito Recipe With Zucchini and Peppers

Vegetarian Recipes

The Raw Burrito

vegetarian recipesThe Raw burrito is something truly special.  It is an amazing vegetarian recipes  that encompasses all the aspects of a burrito but executes it in a fresh, fun and inventive way.  Each burrito is stuffed with tons of healthy, tai chi balanced ingredients including carrots which add great crunch, zucchini, onions, cilantro and more all wrapped in collard leaves taking the place of the tortilla.  The raw burrito will not only satisfy your palate but provide the body with so many nutrients.  Every bite is full of texture, has nice richness, is slightly nutty and the spread provides depth of flavor.


Serves 2

The burritos:

  • 4 leaves of arugula
  •  2 shredded carrots
  •  2 collard leaves
  •  1 red bell pepper
  •  1 yellow bell pepper
  •  1 zucchini, sliced
  •  1 onion, sliced
  •  1 cucumber sliced
  •  1 tomato, diced
  •  1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  •  ¼ cup sesame seeds
  •  1 Haas avocado, sliced
  •  Juice of 2 lemons
  •  Salt, to taste
  •  Pepper, to taste
  •  Crushed red chili flakes, to taste

The spread:

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (seeds removed)
  • Juice of 3 lemons


Since the sauce has to be spread on the collard leaves before assembling the burrito, it has to be prepared first. Simply add all the sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Set the spread aside.

vegetarian recipesNext, the collard leaves have to be de-stemmed. To do so remove the thicker portion of the stem and leave the thinner portion intact. Once the leaves are de-stemmed lay them out flat on your kitchen surface or a plate.

Spread sauce in an even layer onto the collard leaves. Then transfer all the veggies for the filling into a bowl and pour in the lemon juice. Add as much salt and pepper as desired, add chili flakes to taste and toss to coat vegetables with the lemon juice and seasonings.

Once this is done layer vegetables onto each collard leaf. This recipe is very customizable so you can add as much or as little of any ingredients you like.vegetarian recipes

Fold in the sides and carefully roll up the burrito. Slice each burrito in half, plate and serve.

Here is a video you can watch where she makes this entire burrito.  Notice some very small modifications.   For instance, in the video she uses habenero peppers.  Personally, I prefer a milder taste like jalapeno.

In the end you have a nice raw lunch that is so easy to make. The most time consuming step of this recipe is slicing and chopping the ingredients. After you taste this burrito you will be hit with freshness and a variety of textures and tastes. There is also a nice heat that hits your taste buds as well as a pleasant bitterness from the greens. The raw burrito is undeniably harmonious and no cooking is required.

Images on this page were taken from the video featured on this page from FullyRawKristina

For more vegetarian burrito recipe ideas you can visit this page on Food Network.


Salmon Recipe – Smoked With Green Tea, and A Ginger Orange Sauce

Salmon Recipe

This image is complements flickr.com


There is nothing better than a balanced, harmonious dish. Ideally a plate should be savory, a little sweet and sour with notes of bitterness to keep the palate interested. One dish that encompasses all these aspects is green tea smoked salmon with a ginger, orange and scallion sauce. It has a delightful smoky flavor that is enhanced by the pungent aroma and vegetal taste of green tea.

When complete you have a flaky piece of fish that is rich and aromatic that is finished with a bold, tangy sauce. The best part is, you do not need a smoker for this recipe. All that is needed is a round cooking rack, a wok or pot and aluminum foil.


Serves 2

The salmon:

2 – 8 oz. skinless salmon fillets
¼ cup green tea leaves
¼ cup long grain rice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons jasmine rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon orange zest

The sauce:

2 scallion stalks, finely chopped (green part only)
1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped scallion, for garnish


First, make the sauce by adding oil to a small saucepan.  Heat over medium.  When the oil is hot, add the scallions and ginger.  Stir to prevent burning and cook for a minute.  Add the orange zest as well as the soy sauce and orange juice.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Once the sauce is brought to a boil remove from the heat and set aside.

Place fish fillets onto a plate and coat each one with oil.  Line a wok or pot completely with aluminum foil making sure that there is a 6 inch overhang.  Add the green tea leaves, long grain rice, brown sugar, jasmine rice and orange zest to the wok or pot.  Mix well.

Cover with a lid and heat mixture over medium high until it starts to smoke.   Reduce heat to medium low and place a round cooking rack into the wok or pot.   Place the fish fillets onto the rack, gather the foil and seal tightly.   Allow the fish to smoke for 12-15 minutes or until it easily flakes with a fork.

Carefully plate the fish, reheat sauce and top the salmon with sauce.  Garnish with sliced scallion if desired and serve.

In the end you have a beautiful dish that is extremely well-balanced.  All the components meld together flawlessly for a delectable end result.

Here is a basic tutorial for smoking salmon:


healthy cooking image

Healthy Cooking – What Exactly Is Healthy Cooking?

Healthy Cooking


If I asked you what “what healthy diet do you follow and what is the healthiest way to cook?”  it’s likely you would name a well– recognized method popular today.  Truth is,  learning the fundamentals of healthy cooking will help you wade through the tsunami of media hype.  With hundreds of diet gurus trying to sell you on their book or program, understanding what defines healthy cooking will arm you with the information you need to make the right choices.  Fad diets and cooking methods come and go but true healthy cooking concepts withstand the test of time.

Shopping in the produce section for most of your ingredients is an important key to cooking as healthy as possible.  In the produce department we find foods that have recently been picked so they still have the highest levels of vitamins. Nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals decrease as fresh food ages and deteriorates.  Fresh  fruits and vegetables in the produce section are often only a day or two old making them the freshest foods with the highest vitamin count that you can buy. This is healthy cooking at its best.

Be sure to cook foods quickly so as to reduce the total amount of time the food is exposed to heat.  Heat destroys vitamins in foods so therefore we want to minimize the total amount of cooking time that food is exposed to the cooking source heat.  So for instance, five minutes over a grill is a healthier cooking method than 40 minutes cooking in an oven.  In other words, food being exposed to heat for 5 min. is better than being exposed to heat for 40 min.

Select foods and cooking methods that reduce the overall processing and storage time between harvest and serving. Food that has been minimally processed like homemade applesauce is a better way to eat cooked apples than store-bought applesauce in individual plastic containers.  Homemade applesauce moves from fresh apples to cooking down into a saucepan  – it’s a “ one step processing”.  Store-bought applesauce however involves several other steps, the addition of preservatives, and heat processing to prevent botulism and to seal the individual pack containers.  One-step of processing from fresh fruit to dinner plate preserves more vitamins and minerals than multiple steps of processing from a factory, and perhaps months of storage on a shelf.

healthy cooking image
Even though food companies will try to convince you how healthy their food is, if you understand these fundamental guidelines you will be able to recognize what is and is not healthy cooking.  Stick to shopping the outer perimeter of the store to find the healthiest, least processed foods available. The faster you can bring your food from freshly picked on the farm to serving – ready, the more you are speeding up the cooking process and preserve the food’s vitamins.  Highly processed foods that sometimes barely even resemble the original ingredients will have lost much natural nutrition.

Knowledge is power -when you understand what defines healthy cooking empowering you with key information that will serve you and your family for the rest of your life.
For more information on What Is Healthy Cooking,  here is a link to a resource you can trust – The American Heart Association 


waiting patientlyThank you for your patience as we make some changes on this website.  New servers, new scope and focus, orrapin.com is branching out to not only include awesome Thai cuisine, but looking at what I call “The Tai Chi of Cooking”, or a wider, more global look at healthy, balanced eating, cooking, thinking, living and being.   All starts with healthy cooking.