This post is sponsored by #Foodiechats in partnership with the Georgia Peanut Commission and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support Summer Yule Nutrition!
Did you know that March is National Peanut Month? That means it’s the perfect time to try my rainbow veggies salad with creamy Georgia peanut sauce. This hearty salad features peanuts in three ways: peanuts, peanut butter, and green peanut oil. Ooooooh…..
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to do a rainbow-themed recipe. An array of colorful fruits and veggies seemed a natural choice for the base of this dish. And what better to balance out the plate with some healthy fats than a creamy peanut sauce?
Per my son’s request, this peanut sauce is not spicy. However, the fish sauce in it elevates things a bit by adding some umami goodness.
Unlike most peanut sauces, we are getting maximum peanut flavor from the combination of peanut butter and green peanut oil. And then we’re going to sprinkle chopped peanuts on top of everything for crunch.
Yes folks, you are getting TRIPLE the peanut goodness with this rainbow veggies salad.
By the way, did you know that peanuts are not actually nuts at all? They are legumes that grow underground, unlike tree nuts such as almonds and walnuts.
I like to think of peanuts like energy boosters in recipes. They are a tasty way to add some extra protein and healthy fat to dishes. They also provide beneficial components such as antioxidants and flavonoids, similar to other super plant foods.
In addition, peanuts fit most special diets, including low-carb, vegetarian, and gluten-free. They’re an inexpensive, delicious, and nutritious whole food… it works for me!
Why is this a Georgia peanut sauce?
I’m calling this Georgia peanut sauce because it uses Georgia peanuts! Peanuts are the official state crop of Georgia. About half of the peanuts produced in the United States are produced in Georgia.
Georgia is home to about 3,500 peanut farmers who produce around one million tons of peanuts. That’s a lot of peanuts!
I lucked out in teaming up with Georgia peanuts for this one because they gifted me with a beautiful care package of their products. My family loved the chocolate peanut brittle, toffee peanuts, and other goodies they sent. What a delectable treat!
We live in a bountiful food environment here in the United States. One of the reasons I don't feature recipes with added sugars on the site is because the treats will find us without seeking them out! Anyhoo...
Keeping with my dietitian spin here, I wanted to show you how I’d make a healthy (but still delicious!) meal featuring peanuts. Thankfully, they sent me a lot of fun ingredients to get creative with, including one that was new to me: green peanut oil.
Have you heard of green peanut oil?
If my recipe for chicken feet soup was any indication, I am not afraid to get adventurous with my food! As such, I loved the chance to experiment with a new ingredient for this rainbow veggies recipe.
Green peanut oil is a cold-pressed oil made from raw green peanuts. In terms of nutrition, peanut oil provides vitamin E and is largely comprised of monounsaturated fats, similar to olive oil.
Because of their similar characteristics, you can use green peanut oil in place of cold-pressed olive oil in recipes. This makes green peanut oil an excellent alternative for locavores who don’t live near olive trees that produce oil.
The flavor of green peanut oil is more delicate than the toasted peanut oil you may find in your supermarket. This light peanut flavor makes green peanut oil a perfect contender to add to chilled dips and dressings.
You could substitute olive oil for the green peanut oil in this tasty Georgia peanut sauce. But for the full peanut experience, foodies can pick up a bottle of green peanut oil from Oliver farm. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
(And while you’re there, be sure to check out the other unusual ingredients, like okra seed oil. It’s a foodie paradise!)
High-quality ingredients make all of the difference when you are making recipes with simple, fresh foods like this one. Though I layered ingredients for the photos, I recommend stirring the salad up before eating. That’s the best way to ensure you are getting sweet, savory, and crunchy foods all in one bite!
Alternatively, you could be like my son and eat one layer of the rainbow veggies at a time. It’s your salad, so you get to decide how best to enjoy it!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Rainbow Veggies Salad with Georgia Peanut Sauce
For the Georgia peanut sauce:
- ⅓ cup Georgia creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons green peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger, fresh
- 4-6 tablespoons water (as needed to thin sauce)
For the rainbow veggies salad:
- 24 ounces butternut squash spirals, frozen (680 grams; I used Green Giant brand)
- 1 cup small tomatoes, chopped (I like Villagio Marzanos)
- 1 medium red pepper, chopped small
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup mango, chopped (I used a champagne mango)
- 1 cup pineapple, chopped
- 12 ounces rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (340 grams)
- 1 cup edamame, shelled
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional for more heat)
- 2 cups baby kale, massaged
- ¼ cup scallions, sliced
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- ¼ cup Georgia skinless peanuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
To make the Georgia peanut sauce:
- Whisk all of the Georgia peanut sauce ingredients together, except the water. Add the water a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. Set the sauce aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
To make the rainbow veggies salad:
- Heat the butternut squash spirals according to the package directions. (I used a microwave for fast preparation.) Divide the squash between dinner plates. (You can also heat the shredded chicken, if desired.)
- To make the rainbow, add ingredients on top of the bed of squash in the following order: tomatoes, red pepper, carrots, mango, pineapple, chicken, edamame, jalapeno, kale, scallions, and red cabbage. (Watch the video below if you are more of a visual person! I find it relaxing. haha)
- Drizzle that creamy peanut sauce all over your salads. Ooooooh yes.
- Garnish your salads with the chopped peanuts and cilantro.
- I like to give the salad a good stir before eating but some prefer to eat each rainbow layer separately. Either way, I hope you savor the flavors!
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). This recipe can easily be customized to fit your taste preferences. Swap out any fruits or veggies you don’t like for the ones that you do. You can also switch protein sources; I think shrimp or tofu would work well here in place of the chicken. If you need a higher energy meal, doubling up on the peanut sauce will help you meet your goals. You may want to double the recipe for the sauce and set the extra aside. It’s mild but flavorful enough to work well on a variety of dishes that need a little more oomph.
Did this post leave you wanting more? If you need another idea for including peanuts in your life, don’t miss my peanut butter banana chocolate smoothie pops recipe. Now a couple of questions for you:
- What are some of your favorite meals that use peanuts?
- Have you ever tried green peanut oil?
Also, I love to hear about it if you try my recipes. Please don’t forget to tag me on social media @SummerYuleRDN when you dish! I look forward to hearing from you.