This Asian Sesame Ginger Slaw isn't your average slaw! It's heartier thanks to the kale and quinoa, but also mayo-free and lighter with a delicious sesame ginger dressing!
ow is it the end of August already? Didn't summer just start? I feel like I say this every year and that I was just complaining about the heat and dreaming of cooler weather. Ha. Well, we're cramming in as much summer fun as we can while it lasts with not just one but two outdoor weddings to go to still and we have BBQs on our calendar until Sept. 30th. That means that I plan to have all of my favorite summer salads on rotation for another month! Our Arugula Watermelon Mint Salad, German Dill Potato Salad, Grilled Corn and Pepper Salad, Avocado Pasta Salad, and now this Asian Sesame Ginger Slaw.
- Cabbage - We love Napa Cabbage and Red Cabbage for a little added color. You can of course also use regular Green Cabbage, but we prefer Napa because it's more tender and has a touch of sweetness.
- Kale - We love adding extra hearty greens to everything that we can, and this salad is no exception.
- Carrots - Shredded as you would add to a typical slaw.
- Quinoa - This is what takes this slaw from just a side dish to a potential main dish by adding this hearty, super healthy ancient grain.
- Cilantro - This adds an additional depth of flavor to the slaw, but if you are not a cilantro fan, no problem. The slaw can absolutely stand on its own without it.
- Green Onions - Just a few to add a hint of onion to the slaw, but not overwhelm it.
- Cashews - Salted and roasted are our choice and they add a lovely salty crunch. Chopped almonds would be great, too!
- Black Sesame Seeds - These add a great color and additional sesame flavor that's a little nuttier. You can aboslutely use regular white sesame seeds, too.
The dressing is the same sesame ginger dressing that we use for our Teriyaki Shrimp Salad. Easy to make, healthy, but packs a ton of sesame flavor!
- Sesame Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil - This is where you want to use your fancy, really good extra virgin olive oil like you would for any vinaigrette.
- Seasoned Rice Vinegar - Be sure to use seasoned, this is what adds a little extra bit of sweetness.
- Fresh Garlic and Ginger - You can powdered garlic and ginger too, but we prefer fresh.
- Soy Sauce - To add the salty umami flavor to the dressing.
- Honey - For more sweetness
Easy to Make
Even better than how healthy this salad is, is how easy it is to make!
- Cook the quinoa (or this is a great way to use some leftover quinoa!)
- Prep your veggies.
- Toast the cashews and sesame seeds.
- Add the veggies to a big bowl.
- Make your dressing.
Now this is where you can stop - another great feature of this slaw is that it's perfect to prep in advance and then just dress when you're ready to serve!
Once you're ready to serve, add your dressing and mix well!
I love this slaw. It's healthy and hearty but also light. Plus the added crunch of toasted cashews make this not your average slaw. Our 2 year old loved it and I knew she was getting sooo much nutritional value from it with the quinoa, sesame seeds, and protein from the cashews! That definitely makes it a winner in our house. You can be pretty certain that it'll be unique on a BBQ or cookout table which is another plus for me. 'Cause bringing the same side to a BBQ as someone else is like showing up wearing the same dress as someone else, am I right? The horror!
So go out there and soak up the rest of the summer, friends! Pack it with as many BBQs and outdoor activities as you can! I'm fortunate enough to be on maternity leave through the end of October and I have (another!) little dream baby who is incredibly laid back and portable, so now that the air quality in Portland has improved, we've added even more to our calendar for the coming weeks!
Asian Sesame Ginger Slaw
- 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 3 cups napa cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups kale, shredded
- 2 cups carrot, grated
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 4 tablespoons green onions, diced
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed or 1 1/2 cup cooked
- 1 cup water (for cooking quinoa)
- 1 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted white are ok, black are a little more flavorful
- 1/2 cup whole cashews, toasted and then chopped
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Combine quinoa and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, leave the lid on and allow the quinoa to sit on the burner for a further 5-7 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Heat a small saute pan to medium and add sesame seeds and toast for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from pan and set aside.
- While pan is still hot, add cashews and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring often to be sure they do not burn. Remove from pan, set aside to cool, then give a rough chop.
- Meanwhile while quinoa is finishing, in a small bowl mix together vinairgrette dressing ingredients.
- In a large bowl, add cabbage, kale, carrots, cilantro, green onions, quinoa, black sesame seeds, and cashews and mix.
- Add dressing to large bowl of veggies and mix well. Cool in fridge until ready to serve.
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