April 23, 2018

Fresh Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce



This salad is bursting with bright rainbow colors, delicious Thai flavors, plenty of fresh crunch, and some big time plant-based nutrition. I'm continually surprised at how pleasantly filling it is! I've made many versions of this salad both with a quinoa base and the more typical rice noodles, and enjoy it both ways so feel free to substitute the quinoa for your own favorite noodles/rice noodles as well! I usually find myself trending more towards the quinoa option for both the nutrition boost and sometimes the delicate rice noodles break apart on me creating a bit of a mess. (But a happy, delicious mess nonetheless!) Quinoa is a great choice especially for make-ahead meals & lunches and the salad tastes awesome the next day after all the flavors get a chance to mingle. You can enjoy it both chilled or warm - whatever your preference! For more notes and detailed instruction on the sauce, see my full post here for the Thai Peanut Sauce. Hope you enjoy!

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Vegan, gluten-free (with tamari), oil-free
Serves about 4-5 (more as a side)

Ingredients
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups red cabbage (shredded)
1 medium carrot
1 red bell pepper
2 green onions
1/3 cup cilantro
1/2 cup cashews (or peanuts, or a combo of both)
Other additions: snow peas, edamame, tofu, cucumber, broccoli, fresh Thai basil, sesame seeds, bean sprouts, shredded kale, spinach, etc.

{For the garlic-ginger peanut sauce}
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use creamy, natural)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar or maple syrup (more/less to taste)
1 1/2 Tbsp. tamari/soy sauce
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
1-2 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp. fresh grated ginger, or more to taste
Hot water (to thin to desired consistency)
Optional: red pepper flakes

Directions
Rinse and cook the quinoa according to package instructions.*
Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: mince garlic and grate ginger. In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients except water. Heat about 3/4 cup of water to just under boiling. Slowly add water, a couple tablespoons at a time, and whisk. Continue adding water and whisking until sauce reaches your desired consistency. (I usually end up adding roughly 1/2 cup water.) Set aside.
Prepare veggies: thinly slice or shred cabbage, grate carrot, thinly slice or dice bell pepper, slice green onions, and roughly chop cilantro (stems removed). Place in a large mixing bowl.
Add cashews (and/or peanuts) and cooked quinoa.
Add dressing and toss well to combine.
Top with more nuts or cilantro if desired.

*Notes:
I simmer 3/4 cup quinoa in about 1 1/4 cup water or veggie broth covered for about 20 minutes. (I use water for this recipe since it has plenty of other flavor going on, but otherwise I like to use veggie broth to cook my quinoa for a nice flavor boost.)
This salad keeps well covered in the fridge for about 3-4 days, making it a great choice for take-along lunches, picnics, etc.!

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Looking for more salad inspiration? 🌿
Check out these 12+ Fresh, Colorful Salads!





6 comments:

  1. Looks delicious and I want to make it this week. Are the cashews raw or roasted?

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    1. Hi Lisa! I used raw cashews but feel free to toss in whatever you have on hand :) Hope you enjoy it - have a beautiful week! -Kaitlin

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    2. Thanks Kaitlin! Hope to make this today. I bought all the ingredients last week and never got around to it.

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  2. This was an amazing recipe. So colorful and nutritious. I'm afraid it won't last long! Thank you thank you. A real winner

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    Replies
    1. Aww that’s lovely to hear! Thanks so much for the sweet message - I’m happy you enjoyed! Wishing you a wonderful weekend! -Kaitlin

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  3. I made this today for lunch for my husband and myself and wow! it was delicious. I added edamame to my serving and my husband ate his in lettuce wraps. So good!!

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