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Crunchy Thai Peanut and Quinoa Salad

Notes: I like this Thai Peanut and Quinoa Salad because it is lite, fresh and crunchy.  It is made with carrots, cabbage, snow peas, and quinoa tossed in a Thai peanut sauce.  The salad is vegan, gluten free, and packs well. I like marrying Thai and West Indian flavours when I get a chance.  As an example, this salad makes a good pairing with the Coconut-Rum Grilled Shrimp which you can find in my recipe list.   Combine the pair with the dessert of your choice and you can have a nice light lunch or a simple evening BBQ.

The Salad…

  • ¾  Cup uncooked quinoa or millet
  • 1 ½ Cups water
  • 2 Cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 Cup grated carrot
  • 1 Cup thinly sliced snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • ½ Cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ Cup thinly sliced green onion
  • ¼ Cup chopped roasted and salted peanuts, for garnish

The Peanut Sauce…

  • ¼ Cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Teaspoon grated fresh ginger (I love ginger so I used 2 teaspoons)
  • ½ Lime, juiced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 ½ cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the quinoa until it has absorbed all of the water. Remove the quinoa from heat, cover the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool. (Here’s how to cook millet.)\

While the quinoa is resting, whisk together the peanut butter and tamari until smooth (if this is difficult, microwave the mixture for up to 30 seconds to loosen it up). Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick to toss into the salad, whisk in a bit of water to loosen it up.

In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, shredded cabbage, carrot, snow peas, cilantro and green onion. Toss to combine, then pour in the peanut sauce. Toss again until everything it lightly coated in sauce. Taste, and if it doesn’t taste quite amazing yet, add a pinch of salt and toss again. Divide into individual bowls and garnish with peanuts.

This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for about 4 days. If you don’t want your chopped peanuts to get soggy, store them separately from the rest and garnish just before serving.

Make 4 servings.

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This recipe comes from Cookie and Kate but was adapted from the Frugal Vegan.
VEGAN VERSION: Use maple syrup (or agave nectar) instead of honey.
GLUTEN FREE VERSION: Use certified gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.

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