Protein Packed Asian Quinoa Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
I seriously can’t get enough of this recipe. I keep making this dish in large batches and eating it throughout the week for lunches. It’s equally as delicious served hot or cold, although I typically serve this cold over greens. If serving over greens, I recommend also topping this tasty mixture with a teaspoon of coconut oil and some sriracha. I’m sharing my favorite version of this recipe, but get creative! Realistically, I use whatever I have available to create this dish. For example: Don’t have black beans? Use kidney beans or chickpeas. Can’t find spiralized beets? NO BIG DEAL – just substitute another shredded or spiralized veggie (think coleslaw mix, spiralized carrots). The whole point is just to add some crunch. Add some shaved almonds for crunch, too, if you’re feeling crazy. This dish is supposed to be easy, healthy, and delicious – make it your own, and don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit!
1 cup tricolor quinoa
2-2 ½ cups water
1 ¾ pounds ground chicken
Salt and pepper to season chicken
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
1 ½ cups spiralized beets
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 red pepper, diced
Sesame Ginger Dressing:
¼ cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed almonds (optional)
Start by cooking the quinoa according to the package directions. Generally speaking, you will combine 1 cup of quinoa to 2-2 ½ cups water. Bring the water to a boil, then stir in the quinoa. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook, covered, until all of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (approximately 15 minutes).
While the quinoa is cooking, brown the chicken until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, cooked ground chicken, pomegranate seeds, shredded carrots, spiralized beets, green onions, and red peppers to a bowl and combine.
Next, it’s time to make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until well-combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Eat this dish hot or cold. It can be eaten alone, over greens, or over rice. This mixture will store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
*Garnish with crushed almonds and sprouts for an added crunch, if desired*