Soft quinoa and bulgur wheat with crunchy vegetables with a Thai-inspired peanut dressing make for a perfect summer salad.
For the past few weeks I have spent the mornings making my kids their packed lunches for school and although being in the Army I have the opportunity to buy a meal from our food outlet getting the time can be tricky so packed lunch it is for me too as my new job requires me to be at my desk or at times I am on the road driving to visit other locations.
I am not going to lie but it was getting a little boring just having sandwiches and so thought I need something else that would satisfy the hunger pains and keep me going until I go home and have dinner with the family.
In a previous recipe; Thai green curry I love the flavours of Thai food and wanted to create something as bold with ingredients that were already in my cupboard.
I believe it is important to try and use ingredients that are readily available which have the versatility to add extra if it takes your fancy.
This Thai salad incorporated a quinoa and bulgur wheat mix that had been sat in my cupboard for a short while. You could make this salad with just quinoa or bulgur wheat as its base for which both are just as effective.
Alongside the softness of the quinoa and bulgur wheat, I truly believe it’s the vegetables that are the star of the show as they bring such vibrancy and a beautiful crunch. I used red cabbage, edamame beans, red pepper, red onion, bean sprouts and carrot as I have these in my cupboard and refrigerator. You can easily replace these with items such as chickpeas, broad beans or even peas.
The dressing itself, I really love with the peanut base and added sweetness from the light soy sauce and honey and a little heat from the chilli. If you’re not a huge fan of peanut butter you can easily make the dressing without and it is just as enjoyable. Bind with the salad and you have the ultimate combination of ‘wow’.
This recipe feeds between 4 & 6 dependent on your appetite but for this purpose, it made 3 days of lunches for my wife and I. This alongside a couple of days of sandwiches made the week not so boring.
So, bring a bit of vibrancy to your week with this beautiful Thai inspired Quinoa and bulgur wheat salad.
Thai Inspired Quinoa and Bulgur Wheat Salad
For the salad
- 100 g Quinoa
- 100 g bulgur wheat
- 800 ml Vegetable stock
- 1 Red Pepper small dice
- 1/4 Red cabbage shredded
- 2 medium carrots julienne
- 1 red onion small dice
- 100 g edamame beans
- 100 g beansprouts
- 75 g Spring Onions finely shredded
- 100 g cashew nuts roughly chopped
- Handful fresh coriander chopped
- 1 Lime juiced
For the dressing
- 100 g crunchy peanut butter
- 1/4 tsp. Chilli flakes
- 1 cm ginger grated
- 1 Garlic clove crushed
- 3 tbsp. Light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Honey
- 1 tsp. Sesame oil
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. water optional
- To make the quinoa and bulgur wheat bring the vegetable stock to the boil, and the quinoa and bulgur wheat and bring to a rolling simmer. Turn down the heat and place a lid on to the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and then allow to cool in a large pan until cool.
- While the quinoa and bulgur wheat is cooling in a dry frying pan dry fry the cashew nuts tossing every now and again until they start to brown and you smell the toasted nut aroma. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
- In the same frying pan add a little olive oil over a medium to high heat and add the beansprouts and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, remove from the pan and also allow to cool.
- For the dressing in a medium sized bowl add the peanut butter followed by the chilli flakes, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, honey, sesame and olive oils. Whisk together until you have a glossy dressing. If desired add the water until your preferred consistency.
- In a large bowl add the quinoa, bulgur wheat, red pepper, red cabbage, carrot, red onion, edamame beans, beansprouts and half the spring onions and cashew nuts. Drizzle over the dressing and give it a good mix.
- To serve sprinkle with the remaining cashew nuts and spring onions and a good squeeze of lime juice.