I love me some real simple quinoa salad. It’s the perfect quick, yummy and nutritious weekday meal.
I’m lazy and so I need meals that are complete and packed with protein. Adopting mostly a plant-based lifestyle this isn’t always so easy and so I’m always on the look out for quick, delicious and complete meals. I’ve curated the best real simple quinoa salad recipes that are both vegan and are complete meals with protein.
See my roundup below for the the best real simple quinoa salad recipes.
All of the recipes are vegan but I have also indicated whether they are:
This is by far the best tandoori tofu recipe. I have tried many over the years and this one takes the cake! (or tofu, hehe).
My aunt who is a fabulous cook uses this recipe for chicken, I just replaced the chicken for tofu and it was delicious! Not only that, but it was incredibly easy to make – the perfect quick weekday meal.
Ideally, you will want to prep this the night before.
Ingredients for Tandoori Tofu
1 block extra firm tofu, sliced
1 cup yogurt (use vegan yogurt if you’re vegan)
2 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2-2 tsp red chilli powder (I use 2 but I like it spicy!)
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions for Tandoori Tofu
Combine all the ingredients, except the tofu, into a bowl
Add tofu slices to the sauce mixture and ensure that all the tofu is covered with the sauce
Marinade overnight in the fridge (or a couple of hours)
Pre-heat oven to 400 on bake
Oil a baking tray and place tofu onto tray (you will have excess sauce, use it as a dip if you please!)
Cover baking dish with foil and bake for about 40 minutes
Remove the foil paper and broil each side for about 5-10 minutes
Baked stuffed acorn squash vegetarian, one of my personal favourites!
I love Fall, it is my third favourite season, after summer and spring. 🙂 Seriously though, Fall is amazing. I’ve lived in a few different parts of the world, and a couple of different provinces in Canada. What I’ve learned is that there are only a few places that that have a complete and beautiful fall. Fall is great because the weather is cold enough that you can wear a scarf (and who doesn’t love wearing scarfs?) but just warm enough that you can have a coffee (or in my case, a green tea) on a patio. The colours are absolutely breath-taking with bright reds, golden yellows, radiating oranges and sometimes even crimson purples. 🙂
Ever wondered why leaves change colour in Fall? Me too! This is why while writing this blog post I decided to call my genius 11 year old nephew, Faisal.
Here was our conversation:
Me: Hi Faisal, how’s it going?
Me: I have a question for you, why do leaves change colour in Fall?
Faisal: Its because not enough chlorophyll gets through to the leaves and the other colour pigments take over.
Me: Why doesn’t enough chlorophyll get through?
Faisal: Because the days are shorter and there’s less sun.
Me: Oh, okay, that makes sense. Thanks Faisal!
Faisal: Okay bye!
My nephew Faisal is actually the smartest person I know!
So now you know why leaves change colour in the Fall. 🙂
Well, thank you chlorophyll for taking a backseat for a few months so that we can enjoy all the beauty that Fall has to offer. The beautiful changing leaf colours are my favourite thing about Fall. You want to know what my second favourite thing is? Acorn squash (see how I brought it back to the original theme of the blog post without you even noticing? Bam!). 🙂
Acorn squash is so cool! It actually looks like an acorn! Do you know of any other fruits that look like something that falls from a tree? I don’t!
Aside: I also learnt while writing this blog post that squash is a fruit and not a vegetable. Other sneaky vegetable lookalikes that are also fruit include avocado, pea pods, corn kernels, cucumbers, olives, peppers, pumpkin, and tomatoes.
Along with being a vegetable look-alike, acorn squash is also a good source of fiber and potassium, and has small amounts of vitamin B, C and magnesium.
Who would’ve thought this blog post would be so educational? I certainly didn’t when I started writing this post. 🙂
Though my love for acorn squash is all year round, it definitely intensifies in the winter.
My friend Zehra was coming over dinner and I knew I wanted to make something with acorn squash. After doing some quick googling, I decided to make a stuffed acorn squash as I’m a sucker for foods that can be used as bowls. 😛 Zehra is also a vegetarian (and has actually turned vegan, you go girl!) and so I was on a hunt for a baked stuffed acorn squash vegetarian recipe. Though in the end I decided to come up with my own recipe (a warm quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash), I discovered many other delicious recipes that are on my to-make-soon-list.
Here is my curated list for the best recipes for baked acorn squash vegetarian. All of them are made with healthy whole foods with items you are (likely) to find in your kitchen already. They are all vegetarian, as the name implies, with many vegan options that will cater to all diets (I hope!).
You will find many gluten free, grain free, nut free, soy free and sugar free options. Let me know what you think of my baked stuffed acorn squash vegetarian list, and if you find any other recipes that I have missed!
Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash Vegetarian with Quinoa and…
This is just not a vegan tempeh sandwich, friends. This is the “dancing vegan sandwich” as my friend Paul describes. Why dancing you ask? Well, let me paint you a picture. Our friends Paul and Kajal came over yesterday for dinner. You see, Paul is a meat eater. The tempeh is vegan.
I’m always curious about how meat eaters respond to vegan meals. Well, Paul fit that description perfectly, and so I wanted to investigate his reaction. Usually when people take a bite out of something I make, especially when they come over for dinner, they say, “Mmmm, this is so good!” This is the polite thing to do 🙂
I watched closely as Paul took the first bit of his sandwich.
As predicted, he said, “Mmmm, this is so good!” But, that remark didn’t really tell me anything. How I knew that he genuinely liked the sandwich was because he got seconds. And not only did he get seconds, but he danced his way to seconds. And then my friends, the dancing vegan tempeh sandwich was born 🙂
all of the toppings you desire! Some options include:
greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula, etc.)
Directions for Dancing Vegan Tempeh Sandwich
It was probably unnecessary to have a title on directions, as I assume if you are on a recipe blog you know how to make a sandwich. But always best not to assume. As my teacher in grade 10 used to say, assuming makes an “arse” of you and me 🙂
And so the directions:
Place all of the ingredients between 2 pieces of bread and enjoy 🙂
The mung bean salad indian style is so delicious and super quick. The perfect weekday meal with such few ingredients. I’m always looking for fast protein packed meals that are yummy. I basically used the same ingredients for my Quinoa Salad with Cilantro, Tomato, & Cucumber but with an indian twist.
I made this one with mung beans but feel free to use the beans of your choice. I try to use dry beans over canned beans when possible (for the advantages of using dried beans over canned beans see Dry Beans Vs. Canned Beans). The problem with using dry beans though is the soak time. Dry beans usually require 8-12 hours of soak time. I can sometimes bypass at least some of the soak time by using my pressure cooker. I often opt for mung beans as they require less soak time and they better for the tummy (see here for more info). Make sure to not overcook the beans, as even a few minutes too long will cause them to go mushy.
Ingredients for Mung Bean Salad Indian Style
2 cups dry mung beans (or another type of beans, can also use 3 cans of beans)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
half a small red onion or 3 green onions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 avocado, chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
juice from one lemon
1-2 fresh chillies chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Mung Bean Salad Indian Style
For cooking dry beans: wash beans and soak overnight/8-12 hours (can soak for less time but just know that it will require more cooking time). Place beans in a pot or pressure cooker with 6 cups of water. If using a pressure cooker, cook beans for about 10-15 minutes, checking frequently. If using a regular pot, cook for 40-50 minutes, checking frequently.
Combine cooked or canned beans with the rest of the ingredients.
This tempeh bacon marinade was da bomb! (Is that still a cool thing to say? I don’t know, I feel old all of a sudden :S). I’ve never been a huge fan fake bacon (probably because I’ve never been a fan or real bacon) so I never did care much. BUT, Irfan (my partner in crime and life) loves it and so I made it. Sigh, the things we do for our partners in crime….. 😉
I used the tempeh bacon marinade to make a tempeh bacon salad, but you could use it for whatever your heart desires. Go nuts, and let me know how it goes 🙂
Ingredients for Tempeh Bacon Marinade
1 block tempeh
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil (I used sunflower)
1/4 cup maple syrup
Directions for Tempeh Bacon Marinade
Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well
Slice tempeh thinly
Add tempeh into the marinade and let sit for at least 2 hours, or up to a few days in the fridge (I usually marinade it over night).
To Serve Directions
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
Add tempeh slices to the pan and cook, flipping to brown both sides, until crispy.
or to bake, preheat oven to 350, place tempeh on baking sheet and bake until browned and starting to crisp, about 15 minutes.I’ve also included my ingredients for the salad and dressing I used with the tempeh bacon marinade recipe.
4 cups mixed greens
2 tbsp chopped nuts
1 tbsp raisons (and any other toppings you wish)
2 tbsp dressing (see below)
3-6 slices cooked Tempeh Bacon (see below)
4 tbsp soft goat cheese
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp tamari
1/4 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp mustard
1 clove garlic
1 cup olive oil
1. In a blender, puree all ingredients except oils
2. With blender running, slowly add oil
I’m always in the search for healthy and super quick weekday meals. This quinoa salad with cilantro, tomato, & cucumber makes the cut with flying colours!
My body loves cooked food though I would like to eat more raw food. I have friends who are on the raw food thang and swear by it! According to WebMD, “You’ll also get nutritional perks (from the raw food diet). Most of what you eat are plant based foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. And it’s true that cooking can zap some water soluble vitamins like vitamins B and C. Eating lots of veggies and fruits is good for you.”
Anywho, quinoa salad with cilantro, tomato, & cucumber is my regular raw-food-ish kind of meal. Though I cook the quinoa, I leave all the other veggies fresh. It’s the perfect balanced of cooked and raw which makes is so delicious.
This meal probably takes a total of 20 minutes to make and start eating, including cooking the quinoa! Feel free to adjust the vegetables to whatever you have available. Basically the combination of garlic and lemon can make anything taste zesty and yummy 🙂
This recipe makes enough for 2 hungry people or 4 if you’re using as a side. For the two of us, it usually makes enough for leftovers for lunch the next day as well 😉
Ingredients for Quinoa Salad with Cilantro, Tomato, & Cucumber
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 can chickpeas or black beans, or any other bean you fancy! (or one cup beans soaked and cooked)
4 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved (optional if avoiding nightshades)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup olive oil
1 avocado diced
1/4 cup feta crumbled, optional
3 hard boiled eggs, optional
1-2 lemons juiced (to taste)
salt & pepper to taste
Directions for Quinoa Salad with Cilantro, Tomato, & Cucumber
Throw all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! It’s that easy (and super delicious)!
This Ginger Miso Tofu Recipe is a great quick week day meal. Add a side of greens and roasted veggies and it turns out to be incredibly satisfying!
I should warn you though that this is very gingery and not for the faint of heart. It’s a great recipe for when your sick though. Growing up in a South Asian household, ginger was given for a remedy for basically anything. But it works!
According to Home Remedies, “Research has shown that ginger has numerous health benefits including antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-inflammation, and anti-tumor effects. Therefore, it can help treat many everyday problems such as digestive ailments, nausea, motion sickness, stomach cramps, fevers, and colds as well as major illnesses such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and possibly even cancerous tumors.”
I always use ginger when my tummy is touchy (and it’s touchy often friends). Ginger is my go-to for nausea, diarrhea (that’s right, I just said diarrhea in a food blog post!) and everything cold and flu related.
This is the best butternut squash soup with coconut milk. How dare I make such a claim, you ask? Let me explain.
You see after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease back in 2010 butternut squash soups were one of my go-to anti inflammatory meals. Irfan, my partner, first made this soup for me as part of my first birthday post Crohn’s. I had only been diagnosed a couple of months back and was still very new to the world of anti inflammatory food. It was a pretty gloomy time to be honest. Though I accepted my the life change to cleaner and anti inflammatory foods, I had, out of ignorance, also believed that I would sacrifice taste.
Lucky for me, I was so very wrong. So very incredibly wrong.
Irfan made an amazing spread of the perfect anti inflammatory birthday meal. It was complete with a veggie burger, sweet potato fries, cake and this recipe for the best butternut squash soup with coconut milk.
I think this was my favourite part of the meal! I have since made this soup so many times and it is always a hit!
Sometimes, when I go on an anti candida cleanse, I am not able to have coconut. This is why you will also find a recipe for butternut squash soup without coconut on this blog. 🙂
I’ve tried many variations but always come back to this recipe. This recipe for the best butternut squash soup with coconut milk comes from Gluten Free Goddess. I follow the recipe almost exactly with the only variation being adding a full can of coconut milk and using maple syrup.