I have made this particular recipe about 6 or 7 times over the past month alone. I’ve eaten it as a side dish and as a main course. I’ve taken it to BBQs and even used it as payment for babysitting (at the sitter’s request). It’s a hit every time, and I usually get asked for the recipe. So I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to share this incredible find on my blog. Plus, what healthy eating blog would be complete without a quinoa salad recipe? This is sure to be the most delicious cliché you have ever put in your mouth.
I found this little treasure while pursuing a remedy to a craving for an Asian inspired quinoa salad. This is the way I find 80% of my recipes; I have something in my head that I want to make (or ingredients in my fridge that I want to use), and I look for a recipe that fits the description. I found this one on vegangela.com and it definitely hit the spot. I love the fresh taste of cilantro, and most recipes don’t have enough for me, but I, surprisingly, didn’t have to change the measurement this time. In fact, I didn’t really change this recipe much at all. It’s creamy, nutty, fresh, and crunchy all at the same time. Perfect!
Nicholas doesn’t really like the chunks of cabbage but loves the flavour, so I always take out a scoop for him before I add it. While I have made both the cashew and peanut versions, I prefer the cashew version, as it’s a bit of a lighter flavour, but the peanut version is still divine.
From a nutritional perspective, this salad has it all; a rainbow of phytonutrients, healthy fats, and enough plant-based protein to make this a main course option. For an even bigger protein punch, add some shelled edamame, tofu, or shredded chicken.
Asian Cashew (or Peanut) Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups finely cut purple cabbage
- 1 cup finely shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped fresh coriander
- ½ cup crushed raw cashews (or peanuts)
- Optional (for extra protein): ½ cup shelled and steamed edamame, shredded chicken, or tofu cubes quickly sautéed in olive oil and tamari
- ¼ cup natural cashew butter (or peanut butter)
- 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 ½ tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup (or agave)
- 2 ½ tbsp warm water
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa, stir, bring back to a boil, and then reduce to the lowest heat setting. Simmer until the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy – about 20 mins. *Alternatively, you can cook your quinoa in your rice cooker as you would rice. You need to keep an eye on it though, as it tends to cook a bit faster than rice.
- In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.
- Add the quinoa to the dressing and mix well to combine.
- Add the veggies, onions, cilantro, nuts, and edamame/chicken/tofu if using.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Here is a link to the recipe on vegangela.com: