Spiralized zucchini is the base of this crunchy raw vegetable salad that features a creamy, flavorful Thai peanut dressing for a healthy lunch or dinner.
I’ve been on a bit of a Thai kick lately, as witnessed by last week’s Shrimp in Thai Coconut Sauce.
Okay, I’ve been on a Thai kick, for, like, forever, as witnessed by this lengthy list of recipes here on le bloggity blog.
And after I ate the original version of this spiralized zucchini noodle aka zoodle recipe, I knew I had to add one more to the lineup.
Most likely, it won’t be the last.
Last week I had the opportunity of joining several other food bloggers in Chicago to celebrate my blogging friend Ali’s new collaboration with Houlihan’s Restaurant.
Ali is the voice, force and crazy ridiculous brains behind the blog Inspiralized (and the original Inspiralizer) sharing recipes for any and all veggies and/or fruits that can be spun into a spiral, noodle or zoodle and made into deliciousness. I’m beyond impressed with this girl, in fact she’s on my most recent list of 5 Food Blogs I’m Following Now.
Eaters beyond the blog are taking notice and wanting more. And Houlihan’s is taking notice.
Houlihan’s is partnering with Ali and featuring three Inspiralized recipes she and the Houlihan’s recipe development team put together to offer on their menu through June of 2015.
I’m telling you, this isn’t a halfway effort, this is a big deal. Houlihan servers wear special Inspiralized t-shirts. There’s a full page recipe insert with Ali’s smiling face on it. And there’s even a billboard in New Jersey with Ali’s face on it. Ali, get out the selfie stick!
Even better, the promotion is paying off with two of the three of Ali’s Inspiralized recipes ranking as the #1 and #2 selling recipes on the entire menu nationwide.
Guess what? People want healthy alternatives and aren’t afraid to eat their vegetables.
About the Recipe
This recipe had it’s original debut on Ali’s blog—you can find it here. Later, she worked hand in hand with the Houlihan team to create a version of the recipe that could be replicated time and time again, across the nation, and still hold the integrity to meet both of their standards.
There are minimal changes made to the restaurant version from Ali’s original. Mangos are added to give sweet surprise bites. Sweet kale salad mix (I used this one minus the dressing and fixings) is added for a textural crunch. Carrots and green onions were omitted but you could certainly add back in if you’d like.
Zucchini that’s been run and spun through a spiralizer (Ali created the Inspiralizer) makes up the bulk of this vegetarian salad. This product is so much fun to use and makes for a pretty presentation. Do you HAVE to spiralize the noodles? Well, you could slice them really thinly, but the spiralized noodle makes the perfect surface for the peanut dressing to cling to, so I would.
Quinoa adds a protein boost to the salad and a little bit of a bite. I used red quinoa but you could use tri-color or regular but I think the red color adds to the visual appeal.
I used the same peanut dressing recipes as the one I use in my Peanut Noodles With Chicken recipe. You could substitute the peanut butter with almond butter like Ali does, or go with the peanut butter like Houlihan’s does. It’s your salad, make it what you want.
One note about the dressing, grating the ginger and garlic (or pressing the garlic) gives the dressing a more pleasant flavor and you won’t find sharp bites of ginger or garlic all of the sudden jolting your taster.
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If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats
Thai Zucchini Noodle and Quinoa Salad
- 2 zucchini
- 2 cups kale salad mix
- 1 mango cored and diced
- 1 red bell pepper cored and sliced
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- 16-20 snow peas
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- Fresh basil mint and/or cilantro to taste, torn or slivered
- Lime wedges
- For the Peanut Dressing
- 4 garlic cloves pressed
- 1- inch knob of ginger grated
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ⅓ to ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot chile sauce like Sambal Olek
- Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut in half. Set the blade of an Inspiralizer to C and spiralize the zucchini. Place in a large bowl with the kale and cabbage slaw, mango, red bell pepper, snow peas, and cooked quinoa and set aside.
- Add the ingredients for the dressing to a bowl and whisk until smooth smooth. Add more water as needed to thin out the dressing. Pour half of the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Add more dressing to your liking, reserving the remainder. Add a squeeze of fresh lime to each portion and garnish with almonds, basil, mint and cilantro as your tastes desire.
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Great post, as always. And very helpful! I have to say this is THE BEST salad I have ever tasted. It has it all: colours, crunchiness, softness, many different tastes in one bite, it is amazing.
Linda louise Borkowski
I made this salad for a gathering of 7 women and it was enough as a side dish. They all loved it. thank you for making me noteworthy
This says it serves 4- how big is each serving?
Rozella M. Ring
Thai zucchini noodle and quinoa salad very exceptional .
Any substitution to the peanut dressing as I have severe tree nut and peanut allergy in the family
What bowls are used in the photo? I love them
First use of the inspiralizer and I am inspiredDelicious beautiful healthy. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
What a powerhouse of a bowl! This looks like the perfect way to get some energy midday.
Laura (A Beautiful Plate)
I love this so much Heidi!!! Your version is GORGEOUS!!! Seriously, I don’t think zucchini noodles could be more beautiful. Loved, loved, loved seeing you – if only for a few hours – last week. Miss you xo
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
Hello, dream lunch! I’m loving these Thai flavors and gorgeous salad!
In striving to meet the enviable balance between spicy, salty, sweet, sour and bitter tastes that is a goal of most savory Thai and Vietnamese food preparations, I’d up the game on the dressing and substitute coconut milk for the water and add in a tablespoon of fish sauce. A teaspoon of tamarind paste wouldn’t hurt either…
You’re totally right James. All of those would be great additions!
What a nice treat for the family. Will test out your recipe for my friends and family. Looks simple and healthy.
gerry@ foodness gracious
Wow, that’s huge for Ali and totally well deserved!! Salad looks face-plantable too.
I know, right? It’s a pretty big deal! So happy for her.
I can’t handle this – SO GORGEOUS and also so very sweet to share. You are amazing, Heidi! Hope to see you this weekend :) :)
Oh Ali! Thanks for the opportunity to share! And yes, I hope we see you on the slopes!
Any carbs available for this? Would this be a meal or a side? Looks beautiful and sounds yummy!
Hi Tammy, you could really do it as a whole meal by adding some cooked chicken like my Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken http://www.foodiecrush.com/cilantro-lime-grilled-chicken/. I ate it for lunch as is, and of course it makes a tasty side dish.
Oof, what a beauty!! This salad is definitely coming to my table soon! So much deliciousness.