Enjoy this vegan and gluten-free Thai Salad. Tossed with pineapple, carrots, and bell peppers and dressed with Spicy Peanut Sauce for a wholesome and satisfying meal that everyone will love.
It’s June and my kids have just a few more days of school until summer vacation.
I’m really not sure how that happened. Wasn’t it just Christmas break? And yet now we are only weeks away from the summer solstice. I’m not quite ready for summer this year. This spring has been a difficult one personally and while licking the wounds of life, I kinda forgot to get prepared myself for the next 3 months of school-free kids.
While I’m not prepared for summer on a personal level, I do have a new recipe to get us headed into the vacation. It’s a Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce and I think you’re going to love it!
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
Not only is this salad packed with nutrient-dense foods that will leave you feeling great, but this salad is also SUPER EASY to make. It can be made in just about 20 minutes for a wholesome and hearty midday meal.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Quinoa – This recipe calls for white quinoa but feel free to use red quinoa which has a richer taste and heartier texture.
- Vegetables – I usually use a combination of red bell pepper and carrots. You could also add broccoli, mushrooms, or baby corn.
- Pineapple – I recommend fresh pineapple but you can use canned if you’d prefer.
- Kale – You could also make this recipe with spinach.
- Cashews – You could also swap these out with peanuts or pistachios.
- Herbs – I like to use a blend of fresh basil and cilantro.
- Green Onions
- Thai Peanut Sauce – You can use homemade or store bought peanut sauce. My homemade recipe calls for peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, maple syrup, lime, cayenne pepper, and water.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to make the Thai Quinoa Salad
Step one – Make the quinoa
The first step in making this salad is to make the quinoa. First, rinse the quinoa in cool water. Don’t skip this step! Unrinsed quinoa can have an unpleasant dirty taste.
Cook the quinoa in a covered saucepot with 2 parts water for every 1 part quinoa. Once all the water is absorbed, the quinoa is done. Fluff it with a fork and place it in a bowl in the refrigerator and let it cool while preparing the rest of the salad.
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Step Two – Make the Peanut Sauce
This recipe uses my Thai Peanut Sauce as the dressing. The dressing has been a huge hit since I first published it and I think you’re going to love it. To make the peanut sauce, simply mixed the ingredients together until you have a smooth, creamy, tangy, and spicy dressing.
Peanut sauce is wildly versatile. Follow this guide to customize your recipe.
Step Three – Massage the Kale
To eat raw kale, it’s important that we give it a gentle massage. A simple message helps to break down the toughness and bitterness while releasing sweetness and tenderness into the leaves, greatly enhancing the flavor and texture.
Fortunately, massaging kale is really easy. First, you’ll want to chop the kale finely and place it in a large bowl. Next, drizzle it with a little olive oil and salt. The oil and salt help break down the leaf’s toughness allowing it to tenderize even more.
As you massage the kale you will notice the leaves get more vibrantly green with a bit of silky shine. The kale will also shrink in volume as the leaves tenderize.
Step Four – Toss Together
Once the kale is massaged, add the remaining ingredients. That’s all the quinoa, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and dressing. Mix it to combine and you’re done!
Serving and Storing
Serving – This is a big salad. On its own, it is enough for 4 servings. It will serve 6-8 if you’re serving it as part of a larger meal. Serve salad with Thai Green or Red Curry or homemade spring rolls.
Storing – Store the leftover salad in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Store salad dressing separating for up to 1 week.
Make in Advance – You can make the salad dressing up to 5 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. The rest of the salad can be made up to 4 hours in advance for optimal freshness.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
- Vegan Caesar Chicken Salad
- Vegan Taco Salad with Walnut Taco Meat
- ULTIMATE Detox Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Thai Salad with Ginger Peanut Sauce
- Bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the water has absorbed. Once ready, fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and set in the refrigerator to cool.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all the salad ingredients. Massage the kale and slice all the vegetables.
- In a small bowl combine the Thai Peanut Sauce ingredients and whisk together until smooth.
- When quinoa is cooled, toss all salad ingredients together. Stir in Thai Peanut Sauce and serve.