Thai-Style Quinoa Salad (It's Vegan, Too!)

If you resolved to eat more vegetables this year, this dish makes it so deliciously easy. The combination of kale, shredded carrots, and quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse, and the Thai-style peanut sauce adds a savory richness that keeps your taste buds happy. Plus, all that protein, heart-healthy fat, and fiber will get you pumped and ready to tackle anything else on your resolution to-do list.

Vegan Thai-Style Kale Quinoa Salad

Makes 1 big salad or 2 small side salads

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups raw, shredded kale
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup peanut sauce* (recipe below)
  • Lime wedges and chopped peanuts to garnish

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, carrots, and quinoa, and then pour the peanut sauce on top. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon, working the sauce into the kale until it’s thoroughly saturated. (This will help break down the natural fibers in the kale, making it easier to chew and digest.)

Put the salad into a bowl, sprinkle chopped peanuts on top, and place a lime wedge or two on the side. Grab a fork and chow down!

Thai-Style Peanut Sauce

This sweetly savory sauce tastes just like the Thai restaurant favorite, but with no added oil and much, much less sugar. The recipe will make more than you need for the salad. Put the leftover sauce in the fridge and use it for future salads, raw veggies, and stir-fries. It will keep for about a week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • Juice from 2 small limes
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I like the Trader Joe’s kind)
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha (more if you like it extra spicy!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

Directions:

Put the peanut butter into a heat-safe bowl. Pour the hot water into the bowl a little at a time, stirring frequently. The water should be hot enough to make the peanut butter runny. Use less or more water as needed. I use a pure, unsalted peanut butter, so it’s thicker than most, meaning it needs more hot water to make it runny. Your peanut butter might require less.

Once it’s the consistency of a thick sauce, add the lime juice, sweet chili sauce, Sriracha, salt, and soy sauce. Taste and adjust the ingredients as you like. I tend to add more Sriracha, but I love spicy food!

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