Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

Each Sunday I dread the idea of starting another work week and preparing the same boring food. I’d rather just go to Protein Bar and get a delicious salad, but that’s an easy way to quickly drain your bank account.  When I came across this recipe on the Ambitious Kitchen (http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com) I was so thrilled to find something new I could prep for the entire week:  Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing.  Bonus:  it’s gluten free AND vegan.

INGREDIENTS
For the salad:
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded or sliced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (I like both for texture and saltiness)
  • 1 cup edamame or garbanzo beans
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
  • 1 tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame or sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Sriracha for spice
  • Water to thin, if necessary
Start with making the dressing, it’s better to let this sit and allow the ingredients to blend.  The prep can take some time so I chopped while the quinoa was boiling. 
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  1. To make the dressing: Blend the peanut butter and honey or agave to a medium microwave safe bowl then heat in microwave for 20-30 seconds. Next, add your fresh grated ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and oils. Stir until the mixture is creamy and blended.  If you want a thinner dressing, slowly add water or more oil.
  2. I’ve never cooked quinoa before so this was new to me but its similar to making cous cous.Start by rinsing quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer, if this is difficult don’t worry – it’s not crucial. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. The water to quinoa ratio is very important for the texture. Then add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. This will yield a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
  3. Once the quinoa is cooled add your dressing.  Add as little or as much as you would like.
  4. Finally, fold in your vegetables.  Sprinkle cashews and/or peanuts then squeeze a bit of lime for zing and Sriracha for spice.
 
This recipe gave me exactly five lunches, with all the protein and vitamins it’s a great solution to a new lunch to rotate into your routine. 
Nutrition Information:
  • Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 260
  • Fat: 13.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.7g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Fiber: 4.3g
  • Protein: 8.6g
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  15 mins
Total time:  25 mins
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Mallory Lepage

Mallory Lepage

After living in several of the greatest cities in the country, I made Chicago home a short three years ago.Chicago is the perfect hybrid of the Midwest relaxed mentality and chaotic city life that allows me to enjoy so much it has to offer.I’m equal parts tom boy and glam girl,I love watching sports (Go Green!) just as much as I enjoy taking hours to get ready for a night out on the town with my girlfriends.
Mallory Lepage

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