I enjoy quinoa mixed in just about anything, with veggies, in a sauce, or even baked in a breakfast bar. In this Asian Salad, quinoa is the base and it’s got just the right about of color, crunch and protein to give you energy for the day.
I must admit it had been a while since I cooked quinoa when I made this recipe. I keep a stockpile of it and over the summer months I guess I just didn’t want to turn on the stove and it all got pushed to the back of the pantry. I got some inspiration thinking about a salad I ate at Sweet Green when I was in Boston for work (healthy salad fast food chain). Two ingredients stuck out to me; kale and quinoa (I honestly don’t remember the rest of what was in it but I know it was filling and delicious). You all know how much I love kale! I’m on a mission to make everyone I know try it and like it as much as me – just ask my co-workers, many have started to like it after trying my Kale Fruit and Nut Salad. So of course, there is kale in this recipe too.
The dressing is a crowd pleaser. I use Tamari soy sauce, which is lower in sodium and has more vitamins and minerals than standard soy sauce. You could also substitute this with coconut aminos but I think it alters the flavor too much. A little bit of sugar goes a long way in this recipe as well (about 4 grams per serving).
Look at those veggies loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – that’s energy right there!! The ingredient list is not overwhelming. Shelled edamame is now common right beside all the frozen veggies at the grocery store. Quinoa has been around long enough now that it’s not only in the “health food” aisle but can be found in the rice section too.
This is a great salad to use in meal prep for the week. It will last about 5 days in the fridge without the dressing.
Asian Chicken Quinoa Salad Recipe
Serving Size: 3-4
1 Cup Red Quinoa, uncooked
1 lb Chicken, browned and shredded
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 pinches salt and pepper
1 tsp Organic Tamari Soy Sauce
1 Cup Red Cabbage, chopped
1 Cup Edamame, shelled
1 Cup Red Pepper, chopped
3-4 Cups Kale, chopped
¼ Cup Organic Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ Cup Canola Oil
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
Start by cooking the quinoa, as directed on package. Red or white quinoa will do but red is more eye appealing. In a medium saucepan, on medium/high heat add 1 Tbsp. olive oil then chicken. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to both sides of the chicken. Then add 1 tsp soy sauce to pan. Cook until golden brown on both sides. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, chicken and all chopped vegetables. Mix all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or a salad dressing shaker bottle. Stir well with a whisk or shake. Just before serving, add dressing to taste and stir until dressing is coating all the veggies.