This Thai freekeh salad with peanut ginger dressing packs a punch of flavor and nutrition. It keeps great in the fridge – perfect for weekend food prep!
Freekeh. If we can get past how funny this word is, we can talk about how great it is. It might be my favorite grain of the year, to be honest. I love that it’s slightly bigger than quinoa and still has a mild but recognizable flavor. It’s definitely going to become a staple in my kitchen. Have you tried it? Get on the freekeh bandwagon with me. First step, learn how to spell it. My fingers always want to type freekAh instead of freekEh but I’m learning. I’m probably the only one with this issue though so we’ll move right along…
As you know because I talk about it too much, I like to prep salads on Saturdays or Sundays so I don’t eat popcorn for lunch every day. Not that there is anything wrong with that but some vegetables are good too. I’m not always successful, but I’m trying my best. I
t doesn’t take too long to throw a salad together and I’m always, always glad I did it. The majority of the time, it’s just a simple green salad and I mix up a jar of homemade dressing to keep in the fridge with it. If you’re new to making your own dressing, this sweet and tangy honey mustard vinaigrette is my go-to. I also like this homemade reduced-fat ranch dressing recipe, or if I’m planning to put fruit on my salad, I like a sweeter fruity dressing like this fresh raspberry vinaigrette.
If I don’t go for the green salad, I usually choose a grain. Farro, quinoa, barley and now freekeh are some of my favorites for salads. These are salads that I’ll put dressing on right away and as they sit in the fridge, they just soak up all the flavor of the dressing and get even better.
I adapted this particular freekeh salad from a Thai Quinoa Salad that I saw on Ambitious Kitchen. Monique’s is slightly different but the beautiful bright colors and vibrant flavors of her salad drew me in and inspired me to create this version. Mine lacks sesame oil because of N’s allergy and I also leave out the red onions since I’m not a huge fan of onions in their raw form.
Tip: If you soak diced raw onions in ice water for at least ten minutes before eating them or using them in a recipe, it decreases their bite and makes them more mellow.
I’m sitting at a coffee shop typing up this post right now but I think I might just go to the store on the way home and buy the ingredients for this salad. This is making me hungry.
Used in this recipe:
Looking for more salads with grains?
A perfect lunch or meatless dinner, grain bowls are so good for you and can be made ahead. Here’s a few more recipes to get you fueled up:
- Broccoli tabbouleh with lentils
- Kale sweet potato salad with quinoa and chili lime dressing
- Quinoa bowl with roasted tomatoes, ricotta, and balsamic
- Quinoa salad with walnuts, cranberries, and feta
- Tabbouleh salad with freekeh and feta
- Farro salad with butternut squash, bacon, and cranberries
- Farro salad with za’atar, broccoli, and feta
For the Salad
- 3 cups cooked and cooled freekeh (1 cup uncooked)
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots (1 very large carrot or 2 medium carrots)
- ½ loosely-packed heaping cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 cup cooked and cooled shelled edamame
- 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- ½ cup peanuts (I used lightly salted dry-roasted)
For the Dressing
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine freekeh, cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, cilantro, green onions, and edamame.
- In a small bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth and completely combined.
- Pour dressing over salad and stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Add peanuts immediately prior to serving.
- To make this vegan, substitute agave syrup for the honey.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Verdict: So good. SO SO SO good. I could live on this salad.
Husband’s take: Ehhh it’s not his favorite, to be honest. A little too much flavor-action for him. He’ll stick with his good ol’ tuna noodle casserole.
Changes I would make: None are necessary but it will be fun to try this recipe with different grains.