Crunchy Quinoa Power Bowl with Almond Ginger Dressing
If you love a good crunchy salad then you’re going to go nuts for this crunchy quinoa power bowl. It’s loaded with texture, flavor and plenty of nutrients to keep your belly full, but not weighed down.
It also makes enough for five to six servings(!) so you can prep it in advance for healthy lunches all week long. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, my friends.
Ingredients and Substitutions
For the Bowls
- Quinoa- Using quinoa keeps this recipe grain-free (it’s technically a seed, not a grain) and serves as an ample source of complete plant-based protein and fiber. You could switch it out for brown rice or amaranth but I think the texture would be much different, i.e. not as good.
- Cabbage Mix- Buying preshredded cabbage mix (with carrots) helps save a ton of time. That said, the bowls will keep longer if you shred the cabbage yourself as it will be much more fresh.
- Bell Pepper or Snap Peas- I’m not a huge fan of snap peas so I opted for bell pepper but either one provides a nice crunch texture and subtle sweet flavor.
- Green Onion- Sliced green onions add a fresh savory twist that pairs wonderfully with the ginger dressing.
- Cilantro- I know there are a lot of cilantro haters out there. If that’s you, feel free to omit this one. Otherwise, it is a micronutrient powerhouse so try not to skip if you can tolerate it.
- Sliced Almonds- These are a must for that addicting crunchy texture. If you can’t do almonds, any nuts or seeds will work (such as cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds).
For the Dressing
- Almond Butter- As much as I love peanut butter, the almond butter really makes for a nice subtle flavor in these bowls. That said, any kind of nut or seed butter can take its place, just keep in mind the flavor will change deepening on what you choose.
- Tamari- If you’re not familiar with tamari it is just a gluten-free version of soy sauce. You can use regular soy sauce or coconut aminos as well.
- Lime Juice- Fresh squeezed lime juice is such a highlight to this dressing but rice wine vinegar could be substituted in a pinch.
- Maple Syrup- Just a hint of maple syrup balances the acidity in the dressing. Honey would be just as delicious as a substitute.
- Ginger/Garlic- Using fresh grated ginger and garlic is key for a dressing that will knock the sock off of your tastebuds. While you could use ground ginger and garlic powder, it just won’t be as good.
Want to amp up the protein?
I like to add baked tofu cubes tossed in a little bit of tamari, or sliced meatless chicken to make this more of a satiating meal. But that is totally optional, of course!
How long will quinoa power bowls keep?
This will mostly depend on how fresh your ingredients are to begin with. Generally the cabbage is the first thing to go, so assuring that is as fresh as possible is ideal for making it last longer.
With fresh ingredients, it will last up to 5 days so long as it is properly sealed, refrigerated and the dressing is stored separately.
Looking for more healthy lunch inspiration?
- Spring Farro Bowls with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Meal Prep Bowls
- Peanut Soba Noodle Bowls
- Southwestern Quinoa Mason Jar Salads
- White Bean Lettuce Wraps
- Lentil Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Crunchy Quinoa Power Bowls with Almond Ginger Dressing
For the Bowl
- ½ cup dry, uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 12 ounces shredded cabbage mix, or 9oz shredded cabbage mixed with 3oz shredded carrots
- ½ cup thinly sliced bell pepper or snap peas
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup finely chopped green onion
- ½ cup thin sliced almonds
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup natural almond butter, ingredients should be just roasted almonds and/or salt
- 3-4 tablespoons lime juice, about 1-2 limes
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger, roughly 2-inch knob, or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated garlic, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- water to thin, as needed
- In a medium-size pot, bring 1½ cups water to a boil. Add quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and cover with a lid to allow the quinoa to steam a little longer. The quinoa should be soft and fluffy when fully cooked. Set aside to cool completely
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients (minus the ingredients for the dressing) in a large bowl. Toss to combine. When the quinoa is fully cooled, add it to the bowl as well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Add water to thin until a pourable consistency is reached. Taste test to see if you prefer to add salt, more maple syrup for sweetness or more lime juice for acidity and adjust accordingly. To serve immediately, pour dressing over top of quinoa salad and enjoy. If storing for later, keep salad and dressing sealed separate in the refrigerator until ready to eat, for up to 5 days.
This looks delicious and perfect for the new year! I also feel better when I’m working out and making super healthy meals regularly. I love running, but I need to incorporate more weight work. My butt is not where I’d like it to be (or size?) right now haha
I feel ya, sister! My butt could definitely use a little lifting. ;)
I’m right there with ya sister…I need to kick my workouts into high gear, cause this girl’s been luh-ayyyy-zee! This bowl o’ crunch is exactly what I need for all my detoxing. LOVE that almond ginger dressing! Hope you had a fabulous weekend, yourself, m’dear!
Hi Sarah!! So glad you’re back on the workout train regularly this week. Good luck with that! And this recipe, as always, look delicious. I love the flavor combinations.
Almond butter dressing?!! Drooool.
Re: working out, you can do it lady! Side note: This is the first year in forever that I don’t belong to just a regular gym, but every year I always get annoyed by how crowded it is in the month of January! All of those exercise resolutions result in no room for me to work out! Haha.
Yes! I almost started ranting about how crowded the gym is in this post but I decided against it. I’m happy to see people making healthy resolutions but it does make it harder for the regulars. Although it is interesting to see who will stick with it!
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I’m trying really hard to get back into working out and healthy eating as well. It can be so hard something though!! Salads like THIS definitely make healthy eating easier — filling, delicious and GORGEOUS!
This looks delicious, Sarah! I STILL have not tried quinoa yet, but reallllly need to! I keep reading how good it is for you!
First of all, such beautiful photos!! I am in love with the colors and cheerful lighting. All of my shots lately have been so dark. Ha ha. Call me inspired. Second, I am so glad to hear you are hitting the gym now. That is great. I totally agree about the mental benefits. So many people focus on the soft layer you mention, and for me the stress relief it provides is even better. Happy new year!
I’m looking for a quinoa power bowl recipe that will keep in the fridge for afternoon snacks over 4-5 days. This sounds like a good one. How long do you keep a batch?
I’ve kept it up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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