Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Creamy Almond Ginger Dressing

Ooh, the textures – crunchy and crispy! 

This was dinner Tuesday night and it was met with rave reviews. Just loads of goodness here: carrots, cabbage, quinoa, cilantro, red pepper, and green onion. There is definitely an Asian flavor profile to this meal and the creamy almond butter dressing with a hint of ginger is just as good as it sounds.

Gluten free. Colorful. Delicious. This dish is straight up clean eating.

If you have other veggies in your fridge that you need to use, feel free to add them or substitute them for any of the veggies in this recipe. You can also make your quinoa a day ahead. It not only saves time but day old quinoa has a nice texture because it is dryer than quinoa right after is cooked which helps absorb the flavors.

Mmm. I could eat it all day long.

I recommend doubling the recipe so you can have lots of leftovers for lunch—it only gets better with time as the sauce continues to seep into all of the veggies and quinoa.

And yes, it may be an excellent idea to hit this up with a serious amount of Sriracha.

Would that make it spicy? Yup. But you’re an adult. I know you can handle it.

Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad With Creamy Almond Ginger Dressing recipe
1 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
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup diced green onions
½ cup cashew halves or peanuts
Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

For the dressing:
½ cup almond butter
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water plus more or as needed to thin dressing
1 clove garlic, fine minced
1 inch peeled finely chopped ginger
3 tbs. Tamari sauce, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Nama Shoyu

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: Run dressing ingredients in your food processor (or blender) until blended and creamy. Add water to thin as needed – you want it thick but pourable. 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. You can always save the dressing for later and add it when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I like to add it to the quinoa first. Next mix in red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews or peanuts and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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