Spicy Peanut Veggie Bowl

This salad is loaded with crispy veggies, protein-packed edamame and healthy fats from avocado, peanut butter and sesame. It is a delicious, cold dish that is perfect for hot summer months! This salad packs great for workweek lunches, or as a side along with grilled chicken or fish.

Feel free to customize the vegetables to suit your preferences. I think bell pepper and broccoli (blanched might be best) would also work well in this recipe.

Alternatively, feel free to just prepare the peanut sauce! It’s so delicious as a veggie dip, a dip for fresh spring rolls, or atop a grain bowl! You can prepare it with an alternative nut butter if you wish, such as almond or cashew butter. Preparing sauces from scratch doesn’t take much time or effort, but is infinitely more nutritious than the store bought varieties, often laden with sodium, sugar and hard-to-pronounce ingredients. After a while, you may find that you’re able to “eyeball” these ingredients into a delicious sauce, allowing it to come together even more quickly and with fewer dishes!

1 small spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1- 227g/ 8oz package stringless snap peas, sliced thinly on a diagonal
1 cup shredded carrot
1 large watermelon radish, cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)
1  cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped herbs (basil, cilantro, mint or a combination of 2-3)
2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds (for serving)
Red chili flakes, for serving (optional)

For the peanut sauce:
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2.5 tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned/ unsweetened)
1 tbsp reduced-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sambal (or to taste)
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
Water, to thin (I used 3 tbsp)

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Place halved spaghetti squash, cut side down, on a lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until softened and strands easily pull away with a fork. Set aside to cool completely.

2) Slice/ chop the peas, carrot, radish, cabbage, green onions and herbs and add to a large bowl.

3) Thaw the edamame quickly by placing in a sieve and running warm water overtop. Add to bowl of vegetables.

4) Prepare the peanut sauce. Place all peanut sauce ingredients, except water, into a small bowl and stir to combine. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until sauce reaches desired consistency (I used 3 tbsp).

5) Once spaghetti squash has cooled, pull it into strands by dragging a fork along the flesh. Add to bowl and toss with two forks until well combined.

6) Serve! Place veggie mixture into a bowl and top with peanut sauce. Add sliced avocado to each serving and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Add additional red chili flakes for spice if desired.