Pack a healthy and filling lunch with this quinoa bowl filled with crunchy vegetables and a creamy peanut sauce
Hi Guys! It’s been a while since I last shared a recipe with you, and though I am enjoying my job and currently planning for my wedding, I have missed blogging. These busy days often leave me mentally exhausted and find myself with lack of ideas for packing a healthy and filling lunch. Packing a lunch for work the night before can sometimes be time consuming when you find yourself with not knowing what to prepare. I like to prepare a large meal at dinner time so that I can have leftovers and use these for a lunch the following day. But I often find myself staring at my pantry or fridge to gain inspiration on creating a healthy and quick dinner. Yes, even a dietitian has those moments! One of my favorite things to prepare these days is a cold quinoa salad because I can portion it into several containers for a yummy and satisfying lunch. Best of all, I just grab-and-go in the morning!
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) has been a popular grain in recipes these days. This is because it’s packed with nutrient richness by being a plant-based food that is a complete protein. This means that it contains greater amounts of two amino acids (lysine and isoleucine) compared to other grains. Because other types of grains do not have large amounts of these two amino cids, they are not considered a complete protein. For plant-based diets, this is a great staple! Due to it’s fiber content, quinoa also has a low glycemic index – meaning that it helps stabilize blood sugar by preventing big spikes. This makes it a good choice and addition for diabetic diets.
This creamy peanut sauce poured over the quinoa salad is the perfect pairing for a delicious and filling lunch. I used unsalted peanut butter as my base for the sauce primarily for convenience (read about how to choose a healthier peanut butter on a previous blog post) and it worked perfectly when combined with the other ingredients.
Serves: 5 – 6 servings
Total Time: 30 - 40 minutes
For Quinoa Veggie Bowl
- 1.5 cups quinoa, uncooked*
- 1 bell pepper, cubed
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
For Peanut Sauce
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted peanut butter
- 1 ½ tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
In a large pot, add 2 ½ cups of water and the quinoa. Bring to boil and then lower the heat to allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until well cooked (Cook quinoa according to package directions). Allow to cool before adding rest of ingredients.
In a medium bowl, add all ingredients for dressing and mix together using a spoon or whisk. Let it stand or place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Prepare all your vegetables for the quinoa bowl and add to a large mixing bowl. Once quinoa has cooled, toss into large mixing bowl and pour the peanut sauce. Mix well and adjust taste to liking with salt and pepper.
* Cooking Tip: Rinse quinoa under cool water to remove bitter taste before cooking.