Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing- Jazzin It Up with J9 (Guest Post)

Jazzin It Up with J9 – Post 4

My friends Vanessa, Kirsten and I went on a road trip to see our best friend Kristine (AKA-KPG!) in Alburquerque, New Mexico.

I decided to make this salad for a light dinner so we could try and avoid fast food joints with greasy food…and so we could make it to ABQ
quicker and get the party started.

I found this recipe on Pinterest originally posted on the Ambitious Kitchen Blog.

You can also follow my on Pinterest at: (My post count is quickly increasing…I am a pinning fool!)

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

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I used red peppers and yellow peppers because I had some on hand.)
  • ½ red onion, diced (I did NOT add any red onions because my sister and mom HATE red onions.)
  • 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 (I used bottled lime juice. It worked just fine!)Image

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup all natural peanut butter (Mine was not all natural.)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I only had White Wine Vinegar on hand and it worked fine.)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (I used Toasted Sesame Oil and it was just fine.)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin, if necessary (I didn’t end up thinning it out. I liked the consistency.)Image

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.Image
To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a
medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. (Oops! I forgot to do this step and it was OK. I just put the entire mixture in the microwave afterwards.)
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. (No need in my opinion.)Image
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.
(I ended up adding about 1 tablespoon of dressing in order to give the quinoa flavor…but I preserved the rest since we were eating it on a road trip.)Image
Next fold in red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. ImageImage
Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.Image

Things to Consider and Ways to JAZZ it Up:
Use can really use any ingredients you have on hand at home. I saw that someone used radishes instead of red slaw!
You can JAZZ it Up by adding some grilled chicken or even shredded chicken from a pre-cooked rotisserie from the grocery store.