thai quinoa salad + nutella donuts

Today was a perfect day. Truly.
Good food. Good friends. Good sleep. Good sweat.
Happy day to me. 
Olivia went to bed last night at 11pm and slept until 5:30am. After feeding her and putting her back down around 7am, I went back to bed for a few hours and woke up before her with enough time to enjoy a long shower and a slow breakfast.
(It’s the simple things in life). 
After Olivia’s morning feeding and bath, Rachel & Nina - two friends of mine - came over for an afternoon of recipe testing. Much to our surprise (err, my surprise) both the recipes were a total success. And in fact, too good not to share. This lunch & dessert combo couldn’t wait until Monday to be showcased on the blog,
so here goes.
gluten free crunchy cashew thai quinoa salad with ginger peanut dressing
(whoa, that’s a mouthful. literally.) 
super simple and so fresh tasting, the ginger flavor really comes out in the dressing & the crunch of the red cabbage adds a great texture. Plus, who can resist buttery cashews? Really, I think I could live off those little beauties. The recipe was a great amount for 3 people, we each had a good-sized bowl full and I still filled a pyrex dish with leftovers (hello, Thursday lunch). I imagine its one of those salads in which the flavors will get even better after hanging out overnight.

Us girl agreed that the fresh-squeezed lime juice takes this salad over the top. We used the juice of half a lime in the whole salad and then garnished each of our bowls with a wedge for extra limey-ness (is that a word? If not, it should be) 
Salad Ingredients
            ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
            1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
            1 red bell pepper, diced
            ½ red onion, diced
            1 cup shredded carrots
            ½ cup chopped cilantro
            ¼ cup diced green onions
            ½ cup cashew halves  
            Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
            Fresh lime, for a bit of tang
Dressing Ingredients
            ¼ cup all natural peanut butter
            2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
            3 tablespoon GF soy sauce (We used Liquid Aminos)
            1 tablespoon honey
            1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
            1 teaspoon sesame oil
            1 teaspoon olive oil
            (Water to thin, if necessary)
1.To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
2.            To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.
3.            Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa.Alternatively you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first. (We added dressing while quinoa was still warm so that it would soak up the flavors).
4.             Next fold in red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.

And because we ate such a healthy salad for lunch, how could we not make dessert? Hello, nutella doughnuts.
gluten free baked & glazed nutella doughnuts
A super easy baked-doughnut recipe, we modified it to be gluten free by using William’s Sonoma Cup4Cup GF flour. Shh, you wouldn’t even know they were gluten free. For a baked doughnut, they were moist with great flavor but not too sweet that you felt like you were getting a cavity with each bite. A definite hit that we would all three make again.
(And it could be worse, right? They could be fried..)
            2 cups all-purpose GF flour (Cup4Cup suggested)
            ¼ cup Nutella  
            1 teaspoon baking soda
            ¼ teaspoon salt
            1 cup milk
            1 cup packed brown sugar
            2 eggs
            8 teaspoons melted butter
            2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Nutella glaze
            1 cup confectioners’ sugar
            1 tablespoons hot water
            1-2 tablespoons Nutella
            ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1.    Heat oven to 325; spray or butter the donut pan to prevent sticking.
2.   In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, and salt.
3.   In small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients - milk, sugar, egg, butter, Nutella, and vanilla - until smooth.
4.   Add wet mixture to the dry mixture, whisking together until well-blended.
5.    Using a spoon, fill each doughnut well approximately -¾ full
6.   Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until doughnuts spring back when pressed.
7.   Flip onto a baking rack to cool.
For the Nutella glaze  
1.    Blend confectioners’ sugar, hot water and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
2.   Spoon in the Nutella and mix until well-blended.
3.   Dip cooled doughnuts in the glaze & set out onto a rack to dry. (Or…eat them right away like we did)
*Note: we halved the recipe and it made 6 perfectly plump doughnuts 

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