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Quinoa Romaine Salad with Peanut-Ginger Dressing

I’m obsessed with this salad lately. So much that it appears on the weekly menu rotation at least once a week, but usually more. Last year I found this wonderful recipe for veggie summer rolls which I fell in love with. I always made them using romaine leaves as the wrapper because it seemed healthier (actually because it seemed easier). One night I was feeling even lazier than usual and decided to make a salad with the ingredients instead of using the lettuce as wrappers. Tasted just as good and was a little less messy to eat. It was also easier to put into a container to bring with me to work the next day.

The recipe evolved to it’s current state one night when I was so hungry that salad needed an extra oomph and I just so happened to have some leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge. Adding the quinoa to the salad provides extra plant-based protein which is always great in a vegetarian diet. And it tastes great with this combination of flavors.

Quinoa Romaine Salad with Peanut-Ginger Dressing

Makes 2 salads.

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (follow instructions on your bag or box. I used organic vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavor)
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 green onions, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped romaine (I add some spinach in there, too)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, thick stems removed and chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • optional: 1 Tbsp. fresh Thai basil leaves, minced

Chop up all of the veggies and toss into a large mixing bowl with the cooled cooked quinoa.

Peanut-Ginger Dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (I prefer unsalted since the soy sauce provides plenty of salt flavor) or peanuts
  • 1/2-1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1-3 tbsp water, to thin out as needed

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water (or more soy sauce – just make sure you taste as you go so you can gauge the salty-ness) until you get the consistency you want.

Add dressing to the veggies in the mixing bowl and stir until everything is coated. Divide evenly onto serving dishes and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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