High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Satay Tofu

As a vegan, one of the most common questions that you’ll get asked is “where do you get your protein from?”. It’s funny, all the people that ask that question generally don’t pay too much attention to their protein intake and have suddenly become experts on the topic when they hear of your lifestyle choice.

However, let’s leave that debate for another day, shall we?

I’ve been including more protein in my diet in the last few months and have been making a lot of salads. They’ll typically include either tofu or tempeh, some nuts or seeds, a grain like quinoa, buckwheat, or millet, some kind of bean, and lots of leafy greens.

This salad, in particular, has been created to give you a high protein intake. You’ll get it from the quinoa, sweet potato, tamari, tofu, peanut butter, green peas and leafy greens.

High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Satay Tofu Satay Dressing for a High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Tofu

How much protein do I need as a vegan?

This question gets asked a lot, and you want to make sure that you’re covering yourself. I know I need around 55 grams of protein each day. According to the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake), this is calculated by your body weight. So for every 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of body weight, you need 0.8 grams (0.36 grams per pound) of protein. So for me, this would be 0.8 x 68, which is 54.4 grams of protein daily.

If you want to learn more about plant-based protein, our friends over at Nutriciously explain it very well.

High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Tofu with a Satay Dressing

I don’t pay too much attention to numbers as I eat legumes, beans, fermented soy products, grains and vegetables every day. I did the calculations a while ago just out of curiosity and got a rough idea of how much protein intake that was, and it was more than enough.

I would, however, encourage you (for self-awareness) to track what you eat on a typical day and calculate how much protein you consume to see how much you’re getting. This way you’ll know if you need more or if you’re doing well.

High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Tofu with a Satay Dressing

How much protein is in this salad?

This salad has at least 70-72 grams of protein. It will serve 2-3 people, depending on the portion size. In our house, this would serve two people as we’re big eaters. 

Now, I can’t say how much of your daily protein this will cover for you, as you can see from the calculations above that it will vary from person to person.

But for me, this covers around 66% of my daily protein intake (which would be half of this salad). 

If you want to up the protein in this salad again, you can sprinkle some pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or hemp seeds. That will take it (per ¼ cup) by another 8-10 grams of protein.  

High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Tofu with a Satay Dressing

This high protein vegan salad is a great on the go meal.

This recipe is wonderful for when you’re on the go and want to prepare some food ahead of time. It only takes 40 minutes to make, and it’s super easy. The best part is that most of these ingredients will already be in your fridge and pantry!

It’s great for lunch at work, school (if peanuts are allowed, otherwise leave the dressing off or swap the peanut butter for tahini in the recipe), out for a picnic or packed in a thermos for walks/hikes.

High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Tofu with a Satay Dressing

This salad is:

  • Filling
  • Hearty
  • Healthy
  • Full of flavour
  • Great balance of nutrients
  • Beautiful
  • Easy and quick to make
  • Colourful
  • PACKED with protein

High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Tofu with a Satay Dressing

I’ve fallen in love with this salad so much that I’ve added it to my weekly rotation and will often make it for my husband Michael and I for lunch. It’s great as leftovers as well. I leave the leafy greens and dressing separate, adding it just before eating.

This high protein vegan salad is perfect both warm or cold.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Satay Tofu

High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Satay Tofu

Yield: Serves 2-3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This high protein salad is full of flavour and plant-based protein. Easy and quick to make, it's great for lunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (half of a medium) sweet potato, cut into cubes
  • Neutral frying oil (I like grapeseed or rice bran)
  • Salt
  • 2 cups (250 gr), firm tofu cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup tri-coloured quinoa (or white is fine), washed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 2 large handfuls of leafy greens - I used half baby spinach and half rocket (arugula)
  • 2 radishes, finely sliced (optional)

Tofu marinade:

  • 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika

Satay dressing:

  • 3 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy is better)*
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220C (428F) and add the sweet potatoes to a baking dish. Add about a tablespoon of the neutral frying oil and season with salt. Put in the oven to bake for around 30-35 minutes. 
  2. Place the tofu in a bowl and add the marinade ingredients, tossing well. Set aside. 
  3. In a small saucepan, add the washed quinoa with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. It should take around 20 minutes to cook. Let all the water evaporate.*
  4. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add in the green peas. Turn the water off and let them blanch for a couple of minutes before draining.
  5. Add the peas and the leafy greens to a large bowl. 
  6. Mix all ingredients for the satay dressing, whisking well together. Set aside. 
  7. On medium heat in a frying pan, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Let it warm up and add in the marinated tofu. Fry for around 5 minutes, flipping the tofu chunks every minute or so. Add to the bowl. 
  8. Once the quinoa and sweet potato are done, add them to the bowl as well. Toss well. 
  9. Add the radish (if using) and drizzle with the satay dressing. 
  10. Serve warm or cold. 

Notes

*Using crunchy peanut butter will add an extra dimension to the salad. I always like that surprise of a crunch in there.

* This is how I cook quinoa, alternatively follow the instructions on the packet or how you like to cook it.

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High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Satay Tofu

Other recipes you’ll love:

  1. Rainbow Falafel Salad
  2. Roasted Eggplant and Capsicum Buckwheat Salad
  3. Warm Vegan Lentil Salad with Tempeh (Gluten-Free)
  4. Vegan Mediterranean Couscous Salad
  5. Quick Vegan Vietnamese Salad

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  • Beth 25/04/2020 Reply

    This was such a super yummy salad!! So glad my daughter made this tasty salad last night. The favor was so amazing! Definitely a family favorite that is going to the top of our list! Thank you!!

  • I love salads and this is my new favorite salad, a great mix of vegetables and it covers the protein needs and is really easy to make. Thank you for this easy and excellent dish.

  • Let me start off by saying what a beautiful dish, looks yummy! I am a HUGE lover of salads. It is always my go to during the week with having a busy schedule with work, kids, and hubby! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  • Jill 16/02/2020 Reply

    Hi, this looks great and could be tomorrow night’s dinner. For me it’s not protein I am concerned about the fibre. Luckily this seems to take care of both with the substitution of half the quinoa for lentils. Tasmania sounds great. I have only been once and loved it

    • Let me know what you think with the addition of lentils. I feel in love with it years ago and so happy that Michael loves it too 🙂

  • Ali 15/02/2020 Reply

    This looks totally delicious. I will definitely be giving it a try.

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