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Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing {vegan & gluten-free}

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing I’m finally back from Arizona. Booooooooooooooooooooo.

I had so many fun nights I can’t even begin to tell you. The food, the margs!, riding around in a red convertible, soaking up the sunshine, swimming at night, baseball games, Mexican food, FroYo, plus a trip to Sprinkles cupcakes!

I want to be on vacation for the rest of my life.

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

Funny enough I also went on a date during my trip! (The most random things happen to me, I swear.) I met him through a friend and we hit it off. On our date we went to the zoo, ate really good Italian food, and laughed hysterically. I don’t think he reads my blog, so in my opinion it’s perfectly okay to talk about how sweet he was. FYI: I told him about the life-changing cookies and I think he was sold.

Seriously you guys, I have to stop telling people about the flavor profile of brown butter and those freaking cookies; it’s just too nerdy. Especially on dates.

But but but! What I really need to do is to come to grips with reality and accept that there are no more margs or FroYo in my near future. All I need in my life now is a gorgeous healthy salad.

You in?

I made this salad a few weeks back and can’t wait to try it again! I love that it can easily be vegan and gluten-free, and is incredibly crunch-tastic (not a word, but should be). There’s loads of goodness here: carrots, cabbage, quinoa, cilantro, cashews, red pepper, onion and more! There is definitely an Asian flavor profile to this vegetarian meal and the creamy peanut butter dressing with a hint of ginger is absolutely TO DIE FOR.

I named it Thai Salad, but is it actually that? I’m not sure. In the end, the ingredients all meld together perfectly and somehow the salad just works fantastically — plus it’s filling too! If you want to make this a complete meal or you’re craving more, I suggest adding edamame or chickpeas.

Oh and like pretty much every thing else on this blog, I love it from the bottom of my heart. Duh.

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

 

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing {vegan, gluten-free}
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 260
  • Fat: 13.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.7g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Fiber: 4.3g
  • Protein: 8.6g

Recipe type: Healthy, Salad, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Delicious vegan and easily gluten-free salad with Thai flavors and a perfect crunch. It’s even better the next day!
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
  • Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
  • 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 oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin, if necessary
Instructions
  1. To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. 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. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
  2. To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.
  3. Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. I always start out with a little bit of dressing and usually add more to suit my taste preferences. Alternatively you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first.
  4. Next fold in red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.

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