Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad

Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad

This is a crazy thing, but I just tried pad thai for the very first time, just a few days ago. And I hated it. Okay okay, it had a few good things going on but the first problem may have been it lacked the most of what I wanted it to have. For example, my order came out to me with ONE leaf of cilantro on top. Seriously, what good is that going to do :). Then it also had maybe 3 peanuts throughout the entire dish. Being an annoying foodie, I simply went and asked for more of both and it did offer much improvement once I added them. The thing I think I will have a hard time getting used to is the texture of rice noodles. I’m so used to Italian pasta that the rice pasta seemed soggy to me. The texture kind of freaked me out. Then there were the scrambled eggs that had the texture of rubber but in the first place they seem strange to me there anyway. I was sure a dish like this could grow on me but it would definitely require some tweaking, at least to that version I had tried at the restaurant. With that said, what I’ve made here is something very similar to pad thai but also much different. I left out the fish sauce (another ingredient that’s going to take me a while to want to reach for), left out any shrimp or chicken as well as eggs, and I didn’t plan on leaving out tamarind paste but I couldn’t find any at the store (but after all is said and done I don’t think this needs it anyway), then of course I left out the rice noodles and replaced them with quinoa.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cups dry quinoa
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups matchstick carrots
  • 8 oz bean sprouts
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped (unsalted or lightly salted)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, long stems removed
  • Optional add-ins: cooked chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu
Read the whole recipe on Cooking Classy