Quinoa Salad with Red Coconut Curry Dressing

I am infatuated with texture. If a food has a nice crunch to it, I am 10 times more likely to enjoy it than if the food has no texture at all. For example, I will not and cannot eat just plain oatmeal, unless I throw some nuts or crunchy PB in the mix. I also have had a recent obsession with all things quinoa (yes I know…I’m one of those…). But seriously! Quinoa is amazing! It has a lovely nutty mild flavor that takes on the flavor of whatever is put with it. AND it is filling because it is full of fiber and protein. WIN!!!

My husband isn’t as into the whole “no meat for a meal” deal but he absolutely loves thai food. So when I found this recipe online, I was immediately inspired to try it out, with some changes.

OH MY GOODNESS IT IS GREAT!! Not only does every bite of this salad have an amazing crunch, but paired with the creamy curry dressing and how filling the quinoa is, oh man oh man I will be making this again.


Also, who doesn’t like eating things that are pretty? All of the colors of the veggies and the sauce make this dish beautiful. Okay, I may have to dig into my leftovers now…

Quinoa Salad with Red Coconut Curry Dressing

Servings: 4


1 cup uncooked quinoa (any variety is fine)

2 cups chopped cabbage (I used 1 cup of red cabbage and 1 cup of green cabbage because the colors are purty)

2 large carrots, sliced thinly

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup peanuts, roughly chopped

3 tbsp red curry paste

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp fish sauce

Sriracha sauce, to taste

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, place in fridge to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make salad dressing. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add curry paste and garlic. Saute for one minute. Whisk in pb, coconut milk, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce. Cook until just combined, about another minute. Remove from heat. Taste dressing and if you like it more spicy (I do!) add Sriracha sauce to taste.

In a large bowl, add cooled quinoa and salad dressing. Mix together. Add remaining ingredients to bowl (cabbage, carrots, shallot, cilantro, basil, peanuts) and mix thoroughly. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Adapted from Lilikoi Joy

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