When I contemplate making a new salad, I always think of quinoa first. As I have said in previous posts, quinoa is my favorite whole-grain. My other goal, however, is to make a vegan quinoa salad with a variety of vegetables the color of the rainbow.
But, I also need to make sure the vegetables go together with a tasty dressing to bring it all together. And I love the addition of fruit as well.
Not only do I try to match vegetables and dressing, but as usual, I want to make a quick and easy salad I can eat at home for dinner and pack to take on the go when needed.
In fact, salad doesn’t have to be boring. With a switch up of ingredients, anyone can make a quick fabulous salad with very few ingredients.
WHY ADD QUINOA TO A VEGAN SALAD?
Actually a seed, quinoa is full of protein, gluten-free, and simply delicious. By all means, my favorite quinoas are red, black and tri-colored, because of their bold and nutty flavors.
Although you can use white quinoa, I prefer the colored ones not only for the flavor but also for the incredible colors it brings to the bowl.
For that reason, I chose red quinoa. In a recent post, I suggested a perfect way to cook quinoa each and every time, so if you need helpful hints, click the link How to Cook Quinoa.
For this recipe, I chose red quinoa, which I eat often because I simply love it!
Nutritiously, quinoa is a superfood, which is why I cook with it a lot. 1 cup of cooked quinoa, for instance, has 8.14 grams of protein and only 220 calories. So, when those annoying people ask where you get your protein, say this Vegan Quinoa Salad Recipe.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO EAT THE RAINBOW
The nutritional rainbow, for example, contains red, orange/yellow, blue/purple, white and green.
Red fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, grapes, beets, and potatoes are high in vitamin C and boost the immune system and help reduce the risks of cancer.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, help reduce risks of cancers and heart disease and are high in Vitamin A. Of course, these are my favorite since they help keep us stay young-looking and healthy.
Blue and purple fruits and veggies are the brain healthy veggie, which is high in antioxidants and help reduce inflammation. Recent research suggests these fruits and veggies help protect us from Alzheimer’s disease.
White-colored fruits and veggies which include cauliflower, mushrooms, and onions, to name a few, help reduce cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Green fruits and vegetables, such as zucchini, and lettuce, help to keep us stay heart strong, and fight against cancers.
Although I try to include as many colors of the rainbow when I cook, I sometimes need to focus on getting them all.
This vegan quinoa salad recipe, however, has 4 of the five colors of the rainbow and a lot of protein-rich quinoa.
QUICK AND EASY PEANUT DRESSING TO DRIZZLE
Additionally, the dressing is as simple as the salad with only a few ingredients, which all blend nicely together in one blender cup.
In fact, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already:
- Soy sauce or Tamari
- Natural peanut butter or almond butter
- Maple syrup
- Cayenne Pepper
- Sea salt
SUGGESTED SUBSTITUTIONS AND OTHER OPTIONS
The quinoa and the asparagus, though, are the only cooked components of the bowl. Even though I chose to eat the salad cold, feel free to roast the carrots, asparagus, onions, and even the pineapple if you want it warm.
Or, choose a variety of vegetables you love together that go great with a lite peanut dressing.
Another good idea is to add Teriyaki Tofu if you want an added protein. You can also exchange the pineapple for mandarin oranges!
OTHER QUICK AND EASY SALADS YOU MAY ENJOY
Since I try to eat salad several times a week, and even at least once a day, I like to mix it up. Meal prep and planning ahead, for instance, makes it easy for me to buy similar ingredients, but mix up how I use them in my salads and entrees.
For this reason, you may enjoy these vegan salads as well.
- Mediterranean Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Skinny Vegan Rainbow Salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad with OMG Oil-Free Dressing
- Kale Harvest Salad with Skinny Roasted Pumpkin Vinaigrette
- Fattoush Salad
- Skinny Vegan Caesar Salad
- The Skinny Good Earth Kale Salad
- Skinny Buffalo Cauliflower Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing
- Kale and Quinoa Southwestern Salad with Cumin Citrus Dressing
- Southwest Chickpea Quinoa Salad
- Oil-Free Baked Falafel Salad with Lemony Tahini Dressing
- Vegan “BLT” Pasta Salad
- Healthy Lentil Fattoush Salad
- Berry Blast Spinach Salad with Fat-free Viniargette Dijon Dressing: Eat to Live
Just remember, salads are great entrees, but they make great “to go” lunches as well.