Hello! Welcome back to Foodislife!

I say this because I really have been a little occupied over the last few weeks. It’s getting to be that season where weekends get booked up, and summer flies by at the blink of an eye. I’ve been guilty of attending quite a few baseball games on the weekend, and this weekend we were occupied with a wedding. Although I haven’t written a blog post in a few weeks (I got in trouble from a few of my close “readers” for not posting in the past few weeks), BUT you should know, that I’ve still been sneaking in new recipes every week. So keep checking out the recipe menu at the top of the page!

For example, last week I added a delicious recipe for my version of “adult cinnamon buns.” A delicious sweet treat, and if you love dark chocolate, well let’s just say these cinnamon buns are full of it. Salted dark chocolate to be specific. You can find the recipe for these babies under the dessert menu… oh and I snuck them under the breakfast menu too, because cinnamon buns can be classified as breakfast…let’s be real, who hasn’t indulged in cinnamon buns for breakfast? They are almost a food group of their own!

I’m not sure about you, but I’m so over this rainy, cold, early spring weather. It is freaking June and I had to turn my heat back on today. When is summer going to arrive?! We get teased with one or two days of warmth and sunshine, then BAM four days straight of cold rainy weather. It certainly is not pool weather!

I found that photo and I had to share because it cracked me up. The sad part, is that’s the truth for us so far this spring/summer…

Summer is my favourite time of year to cook. We have one of the best local farmers markets around, and in the summer, I love grabbing a coffee, and walking my doggy around the market on a Saturday morning. I love chatting with the local farmers, and picking up fresh produce. Summer produce just opens so many doors for creativity in the kitchen. Which makes me excited to cook and share my favourite recipes with you. My brain is exploding with ideas, so much that I’ve had to write them down.

Saying that…

Since I’ve only had a few days of warmth and sunshine to use the BBQ, and photograph the end product, I’m a bit behind on sharing some super delicious grilling recipes. So stay tuned, and until I get those done, you can have a sneak peek at what I’m working on, and a recipe below for one of my favourite quinoa bowls!

Seeing all those bright colours make me so happy. Colours like that just bring dishes to life. So beautiful, and SO so good for you! Are you curious about what’s to come? I would be šŸ™‚

Speaking of good for you, quinoa bowls. I love quinoa bowls. I could eat them every day. Quinoa is considered a “superfood” and is absolutely chock full of b-vitamins, magnesium, calcium, fiber and protein.

During the week when I get home from work, I’m all about quick, easy delicious meals. Quinoa only takes 15 minutes to cook, and it’s good hot or cold.

This dish is probably my favourite quinoa bowl. It’s a Thai-inspired bowl, made with a creamy peanut sauce. It’s got fresh vegetables, cilantro, and chopped peanuts in it for an added crunch.

Confession: this quinoa dish was extremely hard to photograph. I tried from multiple angles and lights to get a clear shot. I feel like it all blends together sometimes. Between that, having the right serving plate, and making sure the vegetables stood out…Bah. Not an easy task. Especially when you’re starving and just want to eat the wholeĀ plate!

This dish is full of beautiful colours and flavours. In the peanut sauce you have fresh ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and natural PB to name a few, the veggies in the quinoa are shredded carrots, red pepper, green onion, green cabbage and fresh cilantro.

It’s also very deceiving. You’d think a dish with just vegetables for dinner wouldn’t be filling. But it absolutely is. Again, quinoa has protein, and so does the peanut butter. If you really wanted to add more proteinĀ to this dish, edamame or chicken are great additions, and I have used them before. It is hard to believe that this meal is completely vegan and gluten free. It’s crazy the flavour punch this bowl has, without any meat or dairy. But Thai cooking is all about the mixing of rich, beautiful flavours, with little meat and rarely the use of dairy products. They love spices and fresh produce, and that’s what should be highlighted in the food.

After the quinoa is cooked and the cabbage is steamed, everything gets added together in a big bowl. Mixing in the sauce with the warm quinoa makes for a creamy, smooth, warm and crunchy dinnerĀ bowl. I leave all the vegetables raw except for the cabbage. I toss it on top of the quinoa for the last 5 minutes the quinoa is cooking. It softens it up a bit, but it still has a crunch. This dish is so good. It really does have those Thai flavours, and it reminds me of something you’d find in a Thai restaurant…a good nutty Pad Thai, with quinoa instead of noodles!

Oh and this is great served warm or cold. I’m not a big fan of leftovers, but this is one of the few exceptions.

This quinoa salad bowl is a great meatless-Monday dinner! I love coming up with new ideas for meatless Mondays. Only because we don’t need to eat meat every night to have a complete, filling meal. Save the animal, and get creative finding protein elsewhere! If you ever need suggestions for delicious, filling, meatless dinners, I’m your gal. OOHH! Maybe that’s a future blog post!… Stay tuned šŸ™‚

Until then… here’s the recipe for Crunchy Peanut Thai Quinoa Bowls. Happy Eating!

 

Crunchy Peanut Thai Quinoa Bowl

Make this healthy "salad" for a delicious, nutrient packed dinner. This dish is full of flavour with so many fresh ingredients. Make extra and have it for lunch all week! Quick and easy to prepare. Vegan and Gluten-free.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/3 cup peanuts chopped

For the peanut sauce:

  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbsp water to thin if needed
  • 1/2 lime

Instructions

  1. Measure out your quinoa, and rinse it under cold water. Add to a pot with water, and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat right down to low, and let it cook for 15-17 minutes.

    In the last 5 minutes of cooking the quinoa, add the shredded cabbage to the top of the quinoa, and place the lid back on. Remove from the heat once it's done cooking, and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.

  2. While the quinoa is cooking, shred the carrots, chop the red pepper, green onions, and cilantro. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

  3. When the quinoa and cabbage are done cooking, place in the bowl with the vegetables. Pour in the Thai ginger peanut sauce, and mix all of the ingredients together until well combined. Squeeze in the juice of half of a lime, mix one more time, and garnish with the chopped peanuts and cilantro.

To make the Thai ginger peanut sauce:

  1. In a small measuring cup or bowl, add the peanut butter, fresh ginger, soy sauce, honey, red wine vinegar and sesame oil. Stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, add 1-2 tbsp warm water.

    Note: If the dressing is hard to mix because of the honey and PB, pop in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. 

Recipe Notes

This salad can be served warm or cold. ServeĀ it for dinner, eat it all week for lunches, or bring it to a potluck as a delicious side! The flavours marry and come together the longer it sits.

You can also add more protein to this dish. Chicken and edamame would be great additions.

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