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. However, my other goal 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 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 for the flavor and the incredible colors it brings to the bowl.
For that reason, I chose a red quinoa. In a recent post, I suggested a perfect way to cook quinoa every time, so if you need helpful hints, click the link How to Cook Quinoa.
For this recipe, I chose a red quinoa, which I often eat because I 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
For example, the nutritional rainbow 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 cancer risks.
On the other hand, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables help reduce the 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 keep us stay heart strong and fight against cancers.
Although I try to include as many colors of the rainbow as when I cook, I sometimes need to focus on getting them all.
However, this vegan quinoa salad recipe 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 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, I like to mix it up even at least once a day. 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.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂