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This week I am making a concerted effort to plan my meals for work. I usually just depend on leftovers but they never seem to last long enough. This salad caught my eye because the awesome flavors and the ability to make it in advance.

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Vietnamese Shrimp Quinoa Salad (from The Crafty Cook Nook)

The Dressing:
6 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp Asian fish sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1-1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, plus more if desired

The Salad:
1/2 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 small cucumber, peeled and finely diced
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Add quinoa, salt and 1-2/3 cups water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool.

Combine the lime juice, Asian fish sauce, vegetable oil, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add shrimp to the dressing and let marinate until ready to assemble the salad.

When quinoa is cool, add red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber and scallions to the bowl. Right before serving, add the dressing, shrimp and cilantro and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, sugar or crushed red pepper flakes if necessary. Serve cold. Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side.

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