Super Protein Asian Quinoa Salad

cold Asian quinoa salad

cold Asian quinoa salad

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you know the one question on everyone’s lips as soon as you tell them you don’t eat meat.  You know the question before they even know they are going to ask it.  You’ve heard it a trillion times. No – a gazillion times…

Well the next time someone looks at you with an astonished face and asks, “but where do you get your protein?” just point them to this recipe.  Seriously, this is a super-protein salad.  Quinoa, tofu, edamame, and peas (yes, peas have protein)! You won’t be hungry for hours after enjoying this low-calorie salad.  It is one  of our favorite summer dinners because it is filling, healthy, and incredibly refreshing.  This salad tastes even better after it has chilled for several hours in the fridge.  Enjoy!

asian qiunoa cold salad

Super Protein Asian Quinoa Salad

Makes 4-5 servings

1 cup of dry quinoa
2 cups of chopped asparagus
2 orange bell peppers, chopped into small pieces
1 cup of shelled edamame
1 cup of green peas
1 package of Terriyaki baked tofu, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup of low-sodium Tamari
1/4 cup of ginger mandarin salad dressing (Brianna’s Saucy Ginger Mandarin dressing works great)
chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Prepare quinoa according to package’s directions.  Combine cooked quinoa with chopped bell peppers, edamame, and green peas into a large bowl.  Stir quinoa and vegetables continuously to release some heat.  Place mixture in the refrigerator or freezer to chill.

Meanwhile, steam chopped asparagus until bright green.  As soon as asparagus turns bright green, transfer immediately to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.  Once the quinoa and vegetable mixture has cooled to at least room temperature, add the blanched asparagus and tofu.  Stir in Tamari and the ginger mandarin dressing.  Add more Tamari or dressing to taste.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  This salad is best served really cold.  Top with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish.  It will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

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