Growing up in my more-Chinese-than-American household, we didn’t watch any football. Actually, we didn’t watch that much English language programming at all; the programs on our television were always a steady rotation of the following: 1) Nature shows that highlighted the landscapes and provinces in Mainland China; 2) Taiwanese news channels that showed very diplomatic politicians battling it out by throwing shoes and punches in Congress; 3) Chinese soap operas that my grandmother enjoyed, which almost always followed this format: Abused/misunderstood wife; some type of amnesia; and either a new man who adores her and solves her problems or a returning husband who repents his old ways. So it wasn’t a big surprise that I knew nothing about football aside from the fact that our San Diego Chargers were (lately) very disappointing, to the point that even a non-watcher like me knew better than to hope that we were going to make it to the playoffs.
Somehow, though, at some point during this past year, I began to understand football and caught myself actually enjoying Sunday games. So yesterday, I sat down to watch the Superbowl.
My mother, whose life has been spent half in the U.S. and half in Taiwan, decided that she, too, wanted to watch the game. I probably should have explained to her what football was, because she began asking questions like:
1) “What sport is this?”
2) “How many teams play in the Superbowl?”
3) And, after watching a commercial featuring children, “Little kids play Superbowl, too?” (to which I replied: “It’s football; and it’s a sport, so yes, there are football teams designed for younger children.”)
I think the best question, though, came after she saw some 49ers pat their teammate on the back: “Why do they keep hitting him? Do they get points by doing that?” To her credit, at least she was paying attention.
But, like any other holiday (and I definitely consider the Superbowl a holiday), there comes a time for the post-celebration cleanse: the time where one repents after a day of excessive beer, chips, dip, and chicken wings (repentance came earlier this year, I believe; right around the time the Calvin Klein ad aired).
So here’s a dish that’s nutritious, delicious, light and satisfying:
Note: I apologize for the photo; I am not a professional photographer by any means, obviously.
Quinoa, Edamame & Corn Salad with Cilantro and a Tangy Lemon-Parsley Dressing:
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups frozen edamame
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced.
- 3 Tbs. of minced fresh cilantro (I used two whole big bunches… I like cilantro).
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. good quality olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. brown sugar
- a dash of red pepper flakes (can adjust depending on personal preference)
- a dash of white pepper (optional)
- pinch of salt
- freshly ground black pepper (can adjust depending on personal preference)
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions (I usually cook it in chicken brother with 1 parts quinoa and 2 parts liquid). Wait for quinoa to absorb all liquid.
- Cook the frozen edamame and corn together in a pot until soft.
- While the frozen vegetables and quinoa are cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, Italian seasoning, brown sugar, and salt and pepper. You may add the pepper flakes and white pepper if you like a little bit of heat in the dressing. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
- When quinoa has absorbed all the liquid (I let it sit for a little bit after the 10-15 minute actual cooking time; it absorbs any remaining liquid post-cooking), combine quinoa, edamame, corn, bell pepper and the cilantro together.
- Drizzle the dressing onto the quinoa salad; toss until evenly mixed.