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.
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.
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 everything else on this blog, I love it from the bottom of my heart. Duh.
Here’s a video on how to make this amazing thai quinoa salad:
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe! You can also snap and picture and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen. And of course be sure to follow Ambitious Kitchen on Instagram. xo!
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 260
- Fat: 13.5g
- Carbohydrates: 27.7g
- Sugar: 7g
- Fiber: 4.3g
- Protein: 8.6g
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 small 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.