The last thing you want to do on a bright summer day is spend an hour indoors cooking in a hot kitchen. That's why we make it our job to equip you with the tools you need to whip up delicious meals in minutes. One of our all-time favorite summer salad recipes is our refreshing Thai peanut salad. This salad is light enough for a hot summer day, yet it is filling and packed with protein.
Give this recipe a "Thai" while saving time with these tips:
Choose quick-cooking protein
I used Tempura Chicken with Honey Sauce as my secret shortcut in this fabulous recipe. The all-natural chicken adds a great boost of protein. Without it, this salad would not be nearly as filling. Thanks to the tempura chicken, this Thai peanut salad recipe is worthy to eat for lunch or dinner.
Chop in bulk
While the chicken baked to a crispy golden brown, I chopped all of the vegetables and added them to a large bowl. I ended up having too much cabbage, so I stored the extras in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for future convenience. If you want to save even more time, buy pre-shredded cabbage and carrots. Pre-cut veggies do not taste quite as fresh, but they are still a decent option.
Skip the blender
Next I stirred creamy peanut butter in with the honey sauce. You could use crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy for a different texture. The important part is to use an all-natural peanut butter (the kind you have to stir to reincorporate the oil that becomes separated over time). If you use a peanut butter that contains hydrogenated oils, it is not going to blend with the honey sauce without the aid of a blender, which means more dirty dishes for you to clean. (Plus hydrogenated oils are really bad for you). My peanut butter was so creamy that I was able to blend it with just a spoon! A fork or whisk works great, too.
Cook once, eat twice
Instead of tossing the entire salad with the sauce, I split the salad in half and combined one-half of the salad with one-half the sauce. Then I stored the remaining salad and sauce in separate containers in the refrigerator for an easy lunch later. By storing the sauce separately, the salad lasts longer and does not get too soggy. However, this is a matter of preference. You may prefer the effects of the Thai salad marinated overnight. Try it both ways to find out which you like better.
Adapt for peanut-allergies
Is one of your family members allergic to peanuts? Rather than spending more time making a separate meal for that person, simply adapt this one. Swap the peanuts and peanut butter for cashews and cashew butter, sliced almonds and almond butter, or even sunflower seeds and sunflower seed butter.
In less than 15 minutes I had a healthy, delicious dinner ready plus lunch packed for the next day. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
Thai Peanut Salad Recipe
This recipe is easily adaptable. You can leave some vegetables out or add your own in and it will still taste great. The quantities below do not need to be measured precisely - add as much or as little of each ingredient as you want.
- Tempura Chicken with Honey Sauce
- 1/4 head purple or green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large carrot, cut into matchstick pieces
- 1/2 cucumber, seeded and cut into matchstick pieces
- 1/2 cup edamame, thawed (if frozen)
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1 Tbs all-natural peanut butter
- 1 Tbs chopped cilantro
Cook chicken and thaw sauce according to instructions on package.
Meanwhile, chop cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber and place in large bowl. Add edamame and peanuts.
When sauce has thawed, pour into bowl and whisk with peanut butter. Stir in chopped cilantro. Add half of sauce to vegetables and toss to coat.
When chicken is done, add to bowl of remaining sauce to coat chicken pieces before adding to salad.