Yay, it's Monday! I know most people hate on Mondays but I personally love them. I feel like every Monday is a fresh new start; a chance to make this week better than the last! I am always energized with new goals and I love seeing them through as the week goes on. What I also love is the fact that so many people have made "Meatless Monday" a lifestyle habit. I love seeing what others come up with when they think outside the box! Today's Crunchy Quinoa Salad recipe ties in perfectly with Meatless Monday. Perhaps this could be your dinner tonight if you haven't had a chance to think ahead-you're welcome ;)
For some reason, it's always the random "kitchen sink" salads that turn out to be the greatest recipes of all time. A "kitchen sink" salad consists of pretty much whatever stock you have leftover in your cooking cave that needs to be used up. I have made so many delicious concoctions on a whim that I now know better and always have a pen and paper handy to write down the "recipe" just in case it's another winner. Although I know quinoa is not the most exciting ingredient of all time, the combination of the raw crunch and the kick of the spicy dressing in this combo will make quinoa unforgettable.
This recipe is also super duper versatile. It can be served as an appetizer or a side dish when consumed in a smaller helping, but it also has more than enough hearty nutrition that it can be a satisfying main meal when served a generous portion. You can easily make it your own by adding, omitting, or replacing the ingredients I happened to have on hand this magical, recipe creating day. It is a fabulous option to bring to a party, potluck, or barbeque. I often struggle trying to come up with party food ideas that don't require re-heating. Room temperature or cold foods are always the way to go when it comes to potlucks or barbeques and this salad is best enjoyed cold!
I hope you all enjoy this dish as much as I do! I think it'll truly surprise you with every crunchy bite!
Crunchy Quinoa Salad with a Spicy Peanut Dressing
- 3 cups of cooked quinoa or a quinoa and rice blend*
- 1 cup edamame beans
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 apple, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/8 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 heaping tbsp. sesame seeds
Spicy Peanut Dressing:
- 3 tbsp. all natural peanut butter (almond butter would also be great)
- 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. tamari sauce
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp. red chilli flakes
In a large bowl, mix together all of the salad ingredients.
In a separate bowl, stir together all of the dressing ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Either save the dressing to be served on the side as desired or mix it all in with the salad and serve!
*I always soak my quinoa/quinoa blend overnight in water to help make the grains easier to digest and to help release all of the beneficial nutrients. For this method, you will soak 1.5 cups of quinoa or a quinoa blend in warm water (I would recommend for at least 12 hours) in an airtight container or jar. The grains will expand a little bit during this period so make sure they have room to do so. Rinse and strain the grains and proceed to cooking. Because they will have absorbed some liquid, you can cut down the liquids you would add to cook the quinoa. Usually per 1 cup of quinoa we add 1 and ¾ liquid but in this case I use 1 and ½ cup liquid per cup of soaked quinoa. For this specific recipe I used all vegetable broth for the liquid. I would also knock off 5 minutes from the usual cooking time you would give quinoa to cook. It may take less time to cook if it has been pre-soaked.
If you were not prepared to soak the quinoa for at least 12 hours, that’s okay! Aim for it next time! Thoroughly rinse the quinoa or quinoa and rice blend in water and proceed to cooking according to the package directions.
Happy Monday to all! Who has made some new goals to conquer this week? Mine is to cut out the caffeine. Quite the goal to tackle on a Monday right haha-I'm tough, I think I can do it! Wish me luck and have a great week!