This nutty rainbow veggie quinoa crunch salad (say that 10 times fast) packs an eye-popping punch of nourishing veggies. Boasting both high protein and fiber counts, it's a light summer salad that satisfies in a big way.
One of my favorite recipes on the blog is this crunchy green salad. I've made it countless times in the year since its creation, and it never fails to satisfy and surprise.
It's become a favorite of yours, too. Ranking in the top 10 most frequented recipes of the last year.
And so with that in mind, I figured I'd bring you a similar and yet totally different quinoa-flecked rainbow version.
Like its green-hued predecessor, this salad is exceptionally nutty (or seedy), crunchy, and chock full of nourishing vegetables. But the addition of quinoa ups the fiber and protein counts, making this salad a bit more substantial.
I love its bright flavors and vibrant colors. I also love how filling and satisfying it is long-term.
It's one of those rare salads that goes down light and yet keeps me full for hours.
I also love how nutrient dense it is. It's immune-boosting and packed with feel-good micronutrients—which, personally, I care a whole lot more about than macronutrients.
The good stuff is in the minute details when it comes to food, and a rainbow on the plate tends to make a body happy.
To make this simple yet glamorous salad, you'll start by cooking up some quinoa. You'll need two whole cups for this recipe. Did I mention it makes a BIG portion? That 6-serving count you see below is six very generous meal servings. If you're making this as a side, you'll easily get 10 to 12 servings out of it.
As the quinoa cooks, you'll get to work on cleaning and chopping (or preparing) the veggies and herbs.
To make this nutty rainbow veggie quinoa crunch salad you'll need:
Shelled edamame (I recommend thawing a bag of shelled frozen edamame).
Julienned mini bell peppers (or regular size if you can't find mini).
Shredded red or green cabbage (or a mix of both as seen here).
Sliced jalapeño pepper (totally optional).
Toasted peanuts or sunflower kernels.
Toasted sesame seeds.
Once all of the salad mix-ins have been readied, you'll prepare the dressing by whisking together nut or seed butter, rice vinegar, tamari/soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and a bit of pure maple syrup.
Once the quinoa is ready and has cooled a bit, add it to a large serving bowl along with all the prepped veggies, herbs, nuts/seeds, etc.
Pour the dressing over top and toss to thoroughly coat.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more vinegar, tamari, etc. as desired.
I've found that most love this salad exactly as is without adjusting the seasonings, but being pregnant, I love a few extra splashes of rice vinegar over top of a bowlful.
You do you. 💗
I hope you love this nutty rainbow veggie quinoa crunch salad as much as that beloved green veggie crunch salad! I know I do.
Nutty Rainbow Veggie Quinoa Crunch Salad
Rainbow Veggie Quinoa Crunch Salad
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa (white or red)
- 3 ½ cups filtered water
- 2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 8 ounces mini bell peppers or regular bell peppers, cored and julienned
- 3 to 5 cups finely shredded red or green cabbage (or a mix of both), to taste
- 4 to 6 scallions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced, to taste
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional for a kick)
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- ⅓ to ⅔ cup chopped roasted peanuts or whole roasted sunflower kernals, to taste
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Nutty Sesame Dressing
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, or tahini
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
For the Quinoa
- Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve or colander.
- Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, uncovered, or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa cooks, prepare the veggies and other quinoa add-ins.
- Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and stir in the edamame, peppers, cabbage, scallions, cilantro, peanuts/sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
For the Dressing
- Whisk together the nut/seed butter, vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, and maple syrup.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more tamari, vinegar, maple, etc. if desired. (I leave the salad as is but serve my portion/s with a few more splashes of rice vinegar over top—loving that vinegary tang at the moment.)
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.