4 January 2020

Thai Quinoa Salad & Tofu Satay Skewers

Thai quinoa salad with a tangy lemongrass tamarind dressing, fresh herbs and crunchy veggies with grilled tofu skewers and creamy satay sauce. A great healthy and filling lunch this Veganuary. 

This isn't your average salad - it's loaded with flavour, textures and all the good things, including plenty of protein to keep you full throughout the afternoon. The salad will last about 3-4 days in the fridge, so is perfect to prep ahead of time at the weekend, pop it in your lunchbox and take it to work. 

Unlike a few years ago, on-the-go vegan options are actually pretty abundant, but they're not necessarily everyday food that's going to nourish you and leave you feeling energised. This salad is loaded with protein - essential for muscle maintenance - from the quinoa, peanut butter, sugar snap peas and tofu too. Peanut butter also contains good fats that will also keep your blood sugar levels steady, further helping you to feel satiated. The red cabbage and carrots provide all-important vitamins A, C and K - for your eye health, immune system and blood clotting, bone metabolism and regulating blood calcium levels. There's also a whole range more of nutrients in this salad, including plenty of fibre to keep your digestive system happy, as well as iron and calcium from a range of sources - essential for red blood cell production and bone maintenance.

P.s. these are bamboo lunch boxes (TK Maxx has some lovely ones at a great price) and the cutlery is part a bamboo travel set from wild and stone. I also have a bamboo travel mug and a stainless steel vacuum water bottle. These are all pretty lightweight and great to carry around to help avoid single-use cups, cutlery etc where possible!

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Thai Quinoa Salad & Tofu Satay Skewers | Serves: 4-5 | Time: 35 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Fine grater
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl x2
  • Sieve
  • Saucepan
  • Griddle pan
  • Mini skewers
  • Tongs


Quinoa Salad:
  • 1 cup tricolour quinoa
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 1 medium red chili
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1.5 tsp lemongrass paste
  • 1.5 tsp tamarind paste
  • Small handful fresh coriander leaves
  • Small handful fresh mint leaves
  • Small handful Thai basil
  • 1/2 red cabbage
  • 200g sugar snap peas
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 spring onions
  • Black & white sesame seeds
Tofu Skewers:
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1.5 tbsp brown miso
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp water
Satay Sauce:
  • 3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • Pinch turmeric


Quinoa Salad:
  1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa well, then add to the boiling water and cook for 25 minutes. 
  2. Juice the lime and add to the small mixing bowl, then peel and finely grate the ginger, mince the chili and garlic and add to the bowl along with the soy sauce, lemongrass and tamarind paste. Mix together well, then roughly chop the herbs and stir these in. Place the dressing to one side for later. 
  3. Shred the red cabbage, slice the sugar snaps in half at an angle and peel and grate the carrot. Add to the large mixing bowl and place to one side.
  4. After 25 minutes, using a sieve, drain the quinoa, rinse under cold water to cool it down slightly and allow to drain fully. 
  5. Then add the quinoa to the bowl with the veg, pour over the dressing and toss to fully combine. 
  6. Slice the spring onions and place to one side for later. 
Tofu Skewers & Satay Sauce:
  1. Drain any excess water from the tofu and slice into 2cm cubes. Mix together the sesame oil, miso and water to form a paste, add the tofu and gently coat the tofu in the mix using your hands.
  2. Heat a griddle pan up on a medium-high heat for a few minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the skewers, with 3 pieces of tofu on each skewer - be sure to handle the tofu gently as it can sometimes be a little crumbly. Cook the skewers in batches as required, for a few minutes on each side, until char marks appear, using tongs to turn as the skewers will get hot. 
  4. To make the satay sauce, mix together the peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, maple syrup, garam masala and a pinch of turmeric until fully combined.
  5. Serve the salads in lunchboxes if taking to work, or in bowls, with a few skewers to one side. Drizzle the satay sauce over the skewers, garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx