Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Peanut Ginger Sauce

Quinoa salads are my favorite for sharing at parties, BBQs and family gatherings. They are easy to make, totally adaptable, and packed with clean vegetarian protein.

I developed with recipe last year for my family's Memorial Day BBQ in Maine and it was a HUGE hit! Like most of my recipes, this is more a formula so feel free to swap the raw veggies for whatever you have on hand.

Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Peanut Ginger Sauce // vegan, gluten free

Ingredients:

- 2 cups dry quinoa
- 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like - 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup diced green onions
- 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter)
- 4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 6 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 3 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 large sweet potato, baked
- 2/3 cup water
- lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Prep your veggies: Bake the sweet potato (either in oven or microwave). Chop cabbage, red bell pepper, cilantro, and green onions. Tip: If you are short on time, buy pre- shredded/pre-chopped veggies! You can also do this the day or night before.

  2. Cook the quinoa: Rinse your quinoa (important step, don’t skip this!) and then cook according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.

  3. Make the Peanut Ginger Sauce: Add peanut butter, ginger, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, and baked sweet potato to your food processor or blender and blend until combined. Add water to thin out (you may need a little more or a little less depending on how large your sweet potato is).

  4. Mix it all up: In a large bowl combine veggies and cooked quinoa. Add in the Peanut Ginger Sauce and mix until everything is coated. Garnish with more cilantro and fresh lime.

 

Yum! I think I may just have to make this again this year... I don't think anyone will mind :)

Need more inspiration for your first big summer BBQ? Check out this post for 5 healthy crowd-pleasing recipes!

DIY Sauerkraut

You may have heard that probiotics are good for you, but what exactly are these little buggers and what makes them so great?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that bolster our digestive health. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes sickness, but our bodies are full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. And a healthy gut means you are less likely to get sick and more likely to absorb all the good for you nutrients from your food. Not to mention you digest food better, which means less bloating, gas, and indigestion.

While you can certainly get probiotics from a supplement, I encourage my clients to incorporate fermented foods, like sauerkraut, into their diets as a way to increase these good-for-you bacteria.

I love sauerkraut and making your own is actually pretty simple. My friend and mentor, Robyn Youkilis, is a sauerkraut-making master and today I'm sharing her easy recipe for homemade sauerkraut from her new book Go with Your Gut: The Insider's Guide to Banishing the Bloat with 75-Digestion Friendly Recipes.

Sauerkraut from Go with Your Gut by Robyn Youkilis // vegan, gluten free, paleo, raw

Makes roughly 4 cups

Ingredients:

1 large head of cabbage, any variety

1 tablespoon sea salt, more if needed

Filtered water, as needed

Additional minor ingredients you can add (make sure your mixture is mostly cabbage):

Thinly sliced apple or pear

Shredded beets

Onions, thinly sliced

Garlic, finely chopped

Optional add­-ins:

Caraway seeds

Dried juniper berries

Ginger root, peeled and grated

Directions:

1. Pull off and set aside 2 outer leaves from the cabbage. Finely shred the remainder.

2. In a large mixing bowl mix the cabbage with the sea salt by hand. You’ll want to spend quite a bit of time on this, until the cabbage starts to get all juicy and you have liquid pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Taste it throughout; it should taste very, very salty. Add any additional ingredients now.

3. Pack the veggies into a fermenting vessel (a 24 ounce Mason jar and lid works great). You’ll want to stuff the jar with an inch or two of cabbage and pack the veggies tightly down, then add another inch or two and repeat. Liquid should come up and cover the veggies at each stage of the packing and layering. Pack the veggies until you reach the top of the jar with about an inch or two of space. You want to make sure your veggies are below their liquid. If you need to, add a splash of filtered water or you may need a smaller jar (depending on size of cabbage used).

4. Layer the top of the veggies with the reserved folded outer cabbage leaves and seal the jar. Leave it at room temperature in a cool, dark place.

5. You’ll want to “burp” your veggies every day or two. Simply unscrew the lid and allow the air to escape. You may want/need to pack your veggies down with your fist again.

6. After about 1 week, you can taste your kraut. It should taste sour and slightly salty with a tangy flavor and have a nice but strong aroma. If it tastes good, it’s good. If it tastes bad, you may need to scrape off the top layer and discard it, then see if the kraut tastes yummy beneath the liquid. Allow it to ferment until your heart desires! I find that anywhere between 10 days and 1 month tastes great (but you can let some ferments go a year or more!). Once the taste is to your liking, seal and store it in the fridge for months.

Note: You’ll want to use a fresh, clean fork every time you serve your kraut or whole brined vegetables. This keeps the unique bacterias in your mouth from mixing and multiplying in your jar. 


Seriously you guys, this book is INCREDIBLE. Tons of delicious recipes, great digestive health tips, and guidance for how to put all this into practice. Order your copy today! And if you are in NYC, join us for the BOOK LAUNCH PARTY this Thursday, Feb 4th at Rizzoli Bookstore from 6:30-8:30PM. It's going to be a blast! Grab your ticket here before they sell out!

Sweet and Simple Asian Slaw (no mayo!)

Hi everyone - I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!  Today I'm bringing you a sweet and amazingly simple Asian slaw for #meatlessmonday.  This one is vegan, gluten free, and contains NO MAYO (no vegan mayo either!). 

My secret ingredient for slaw without dairy or eggs? ALMOND BUTTER.  Last week you saw it get whipped into a frothy milk, and today we'll be using it to create a creamy dressing for our slaw.

While this slaw is not a meal in itself, you can easily make it a meal by adding in some protein - perhaps some cooked quinoa, cubed tofu or tempeh, or other protein of your choice.   I love this recipe because the slaw actually gets BETTER if it sits in the fridge for a day or two, making it the perfect dish to whip up at the beginning of the week.

IMG_0095.jpg

Sweet and Simple Asian Slaw // vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, raw

For the slaw:

- 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage (about 1/2 head)

- 2 cups shredded carrots

- 2 tbsp sesame seeds

For the dressing:

- 3 tbsp almond butter

- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

- juice of 1 lime (~3 tbsp)

- 1/2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

- 2 tbsp water

- 2 tsp siracha (optional)

1. Make the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients (almond butter through water) to your blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Add siracha to taste. 

2. Mix it up: Add shredded cabbage and carrots to a large bowl.  Toss with the dressing until veggies are completely coated.  Mix in sesame seeds.  Serve or store in the fridge. 

Note: If you are looking to make this recipe nut-free or sans-almonds, I suggest substituting tahini  (sesame seed butter) or sunflower seed butter for the almond butter.  If you go the sunflower seed butter route, check your ingredients first - many sunflower seed butters have added sugar and if this is the case, omit the sweetener noted above.  

 

What's your favorite dish to make at the beginning of the week?  I hope you enjoy this one!