Looking for a dish that is exploding with flavors and color? Get the recipe for this Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Dressing below for Meatless Monday or when you’re craving a little more veggies in your day!
Happy New Year friends, and welcome to 2016! I don’t know about you, but I am excited to be here (in the new year, that is). Last year was all about change and taking huge leaps of faith and this year will be no different, I’m sure. After a much needed break from blogging to catch up, relax and plan for the new year, I am glad to be back in the swing of things!
This past Christmas, I got all kinds of new recipe books and kitchen toys to play with and I couldn’t wait to put them to use. I guess it would be safe to say that I can now be classified as a professional foodie based on the amount of food-related gifts I received from family. But, I’m not complaining and am ready to up my game in the kitchen and here on the blog to bring you even more delicious and healthy recipes to help you achieve your health goals in 2016!
First up on the FitLiving agenda was to test out my new food processor. Up until this point, I have been using my grandmother’s. I absolutely loved the thought of having it in my kitchen, but I knew it just didn’t work as efficiently as a new one might. And boy, was I right! In a matter of seconds, I had shredded carrots like I’ve never seen before ready to be used in today’s recipe.
If you can’t find me in the next few days, you might want to check the kitchen because I will probably be whirling away trying out the different blade attachments, making nut butters (like this cashew butter from Fit Mitten Kitchen) and I might even get a little fancy and attempt homemade bread with the kneading attachment.
Here’s the link to the food processor I got, just in case you need to up your own game in the kitchen!
Can you tell I am just a bit excited about my new kitchen gadgets? Although I could probably spend an entire post raving about them, let’s get to today’s recipe, shall we?
Veggie Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Dressing
During the holiday season, I may have indulged in a little too many sweets and treats, so once the new year hit I was more than ready to get back to my healthy ways of eating. A few weeks ago, my plate might have lacked color and nutrients, but today it is vibrant and packed full of nutrients!
Not only is this Veggie Thai Quinoa Salad packed with well, veggies, it also full of protein from the edamame and quinoa. It is a delicious dish for vegetarians and meat eaters alike and the perfect meal for your next Meatless Monday! And the best part is, it can be prepped, prepared and on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Let’s first look at the nutritional breakdown of some of the superstar ingredients in this Veggie Thai Quinoa Salad.
- Quinoa: A gluten-free grain option, quinoa is packed with protein, fiber and is a great source of manganese. One of the few plant-based complete proteins, this superfood grain is known to have anti-inflammatory health benefits, improve digestion and increase heart health.
- Carrots: Has anyone ever told you that if you eat too many carrots, you will turn orange? While that might be true (in extreme cases) don’t let that stop you from consuming this powerful veggie! Carrots are known for their ridiculously high amount of vitamin A and are also a good source of vitamin C, both of which improve eye health, boost immunity and can help reduce the signs of premature aging.
- Purple (Red) Cabbage: I used to steer clear of cabbage because I was under the impression that it was smelly, but when consumed raw, it is delicious! Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin B6 and is known to promote strong bones, has anti-inflammatory health benefits and can help prevent certain cancers.
- Edamame: One serving (1/2 cup shelled) of edamame provides approximately 9 grams of fiber, 11 grams of protein and a healthy dose of iron, especially given it’s a plant-based food. The health benefits include: increased energy, cardiovascular health, decreased chronic inflammation and increased bone health.
Now that I’ve convinced you that this salad is insanely good for you and should be added to your dinner (or lunch) rotation ASAP, let’s walk through the steps of how to make it.
Step 1: Prepare your veggies.
If you have a food processor, shred about 8 carrots to yield 1 cup. If you don’t, no worries! Just cut them into matchstick-like pieces or thinly slice them; whatever suits your fancy. Next, thinly slice about a quarter of a whole purple cabbage and a bell pepper. Add the carrots, cabbage and pepper to a large mixing bowl along with the edamame, chopped cilantro and scallions.
Step 2: Mix it up.
Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and roughly chopped peanuts to the veggies and mix until well combined.
Step 3: Make the dressing!
In a mason jar, combine the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, lime, freshly grated ginger, garlic clove and canola oil. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously until it looks like one harmonious dressing.
*Cooking Tip: I ran out of peanut butter, so I used almond butter (preferred if you are looking for anti-inflammatory) this time around and I might even like it better than the peanut butter! Use whatever you have on hand – it will be delicious no matter what.
Step 4: Assemble!
Drizzle the dressing onto the veggie quinoa mixture and toss until evenly coated. When ready to serve, garnish with extra cilantro, scallions, and/or peanuts. Enjoy!Print
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup all-natural peanut (or almond) butter
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- Combine the first 8 ingredients in a bowl.
- Place all of the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk until well incorporated.
- Slowly drizzle the dressing over the veggie quinoa mixture until desired amount has been reached. Garnish with extra peanuts and cilantro. Enjoy!