Thai Wholegrain Rice and Quinoa Salad

If you are as big a fan of Thai or Thai-inspired food as I am, you may want to continue reading this blog post. Whilst I don't consider myself to be an outstanding chef, I've always loved cooking, and since we bought the house and I'm cooking all the time, I've been trying to make sure I have a variety of dishes in my skill set. It's actually caused me to become slightly obsessive about meal planning and food shopping, but I definitely won't be going into that in too much detail...

This salad is a super easy dish to prepare, especially if you're feeling lazy (like I was!) and decide to use an Uncle Ben's Rice and Grains packet, which takes less than 2 minutes to cook in a 900W microwave. I will leave the recipe below for anyone who fancies having a go at this, as it is a great dish for lunch or an accompaniment to dinner, especially as summer is now starting to roll in. I'm feeling super excited about summer this year - I can't wait to resign the slow cooker to the very back of the cupboard, and finally get the BBQ out of the garage!!

As it's so simple, it took less than 15 minutes to make this meal, all in; it yields about 4 lunch-sized servings, and also makes very little washing up - bonus!

Next time I make this, I'm considering putting some peanut butter in the dressing and then blending to give the dressing even more flavour, and thicken it up just a little. I'm thinking you could also add some edamame beans if you can get your hands on them, to add a slightly different texture into the mix!

If you want to have a go, you will need:


5 tsp fish sauce
3 limes
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use rapeseed oil)
1 tbsp grated ginger (as a lazy chef, I used ginger paste)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1 cup/packet of quinoa
1 red pepper, diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 cucumber, diced
6 spring onions, chopped
1 cup of red cabbage
1/2 cup of peanuts
Handful of basil leaves (thai basil if you can find it)

For the dressing, simply add all the ingredients into a small bowl, and mix, just enough to make sure that the sugar has fully dissolved and that the ginger paste (if you used it) isn't floating around in little lumps. I like to do this first to give the ginger enough time to infuse into the dressing.

Then for the salad, you just need to cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions, which generally means that you should rinse the quinoa under cold water, and then boil in a saucepan for about 15-20 minutes. The ratio of quinoa to water should be roughly 1 cup : 2 cups.

Leave your cooked quinoa to cool, and once cooled, add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and just mix them all up! You can arrange them in an instagram-worthy fashion if you so wish, but clearly that is not necessary, and makes no difference to the taste whatsoever. Finally, you just need to pour the dressing over the salad, et voila, you are ready to serve.

Give me a shout if you have a go, and I'd love to see any photos if you take some!

Laura xx

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