Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #344: Asian Quinoa Salad

By: Stephanie Grindeland, 2018 Dietetic Intern – Normandale Community College

Photo credit: jules/Flickr

The after-work rush to prepare dinner can often seem like a hassle. This recipe for an Asian salad is quick and easy, and the only cooking involved is boiling water for the quinoa! This salad packs a tasty punch with a sweet and spicy combination of crunchy, fresh vegetables and hearty quinoa with edamame.

This recipe is loaded with healthy fats and plant-based protein. Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is an ancient grain and is one of the very few grains that have enough amino acids to be considered a complete protein!

Adding quinoa to this healthy vegetable salad pumps up the protein content without adding too much fat, sodium or cholesterol. You can steam quinoa like rice and add it to this recipe or, for a crunchier texture, you can add roasted quinoa seeds. Quinoa is also gluten-free and a great grain-alternative for people who have Celiac disease!


Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

Makes 6 servings



  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white quinoa, well rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup water


  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cup very thinly shredded red cabbage (can substitute kale or green cabbage if preferred)
  • 1 cup cilantro


  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce, plus more for taste
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari sauce if gluten free), plus more to taste
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 ½ tbsp. sesame oil


  1. Heat small saucepan over medium heat. Add rinsed quinoa and sesame oil. Toast quinoa, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes then add water.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Then, reduce heat to simmer and cover saucepan and cook for 18-20 minutes (or until liquid is absorbed).
  3. Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork and remove from heat. Remember to crack the lid slightly as it sits to let steam escape.
  4. You can either steam the edamame and broccoli on the stovetop or in the microwave by putting them in a microwave-safe dish with 1 inch of water for about 3-5 minutes. Once steamed to tender-crisp texture, set in the fridge to cool.
  5. Prepare the dressing by adding all dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and add seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup if you want more sweetness, more chili garlic sauce for heat or lime juice for acidity. Set aside.
  6. Add quinoa, sliced red pepper, and red cabbage to steamed broccoli and edamame. Top with dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Can eat as a main dish or a side dish.


This recipe is best when fresh, but you can also store it covered in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.


For 1 serving: 228 calories, 9 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 10 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 596 mg sodium.


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