Asian Quinoa Salad
I love the crunchy ingredients in this Asian Quinoa Salad that has sugar snap peas, red bell peppers, celery, and peanuts! Quinoa has a few carbs but it’s high in protein and has some fiber, so if you check the net carbs you might be surprised.
Since many of you will be seeing this recipe for Asian Quinoa Salad on Mother’s Day, I do want to say a little about my amazing mom, who died far too young and left a hole in the hearts of her children that can probably never be filled. Now I think often about her, and feel thankful for how blessed we were to have a loving, talented, and generous mom who put her children’s needs above her own and literally would have done anything for us. If you’re lucky enough to be spending Mother’s day with your mom, do everything you can to pamper and appreciate her.
And my wonderful mom was a healthy eater who loved vegetables, and I have a feeling she would have liked this quinoa salad, even though I’m pretty sure she never heard of quinoa! Jake and I tested this recipe after a long day of trying other dishes, and it took us two tries to get a dressing we liked, but that didn’t stop us both from eating a good-sized bowl of it.
What ingredients do you need?
- vegetable broth
- sugar snap peas
- red bell pepper
- green onion
- Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link)
- Ground Ginger Root (affiliate link)
- Unseasoned Rice Vinegar (affiliate link)
- sesame oil (affiliate link)
- Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link)
- Avocado Oil (affiliate link)
What is Quinoa?
Many people think of quinoa as a grain, but it’s actually a seed and this healthy ingredient is loaded with fiber and high in protein. In recent years it’s become popular as a healthy gluten-free ingredient that’s lower in carbs than rice or pasta and also high in protein and fiber.
Is Quinoa high in carbs?
One cup of quinoa (the amount used in this salad) has 30 carbs but 5.2 grams of fiber, so for six servings of salad that’s not terribly high in carbs. And Quinoa is also high in protein, so it’s widely considered to be a healthy food.
Do you need to rinse the quinoa for Asian Quinoa Salad?
Check the package to be sure, but nearly all quinoa has to be rinsed well with cold water, because the seeds are coated with saponins, which give the quinoa a bitter taste if it’s not rinsed off. You’ll need a very fine mesh strainer, or you can use a paper towel inside a strainer to catch the tiny quinoa seeds.
What adds the Asian flavors in this quinoa salad?
The Asian overtones in this tasty salad come from soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, and the salad also has veggies that are often used in Asian cooking like sugar snap peas, celery, and red bell pepper.
How to Make Asian Quinoa Salad:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Nearly all quinoa needs to be rinsed, so put it in a wire-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water.
- Bring 2 cups vegetable broth to a low boil, stir in the rinsed quinoa, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook covered for 15 minutes.
- Then turn off heat and let it sit for 5 minutes more.
- While the quinoa cooks, thinly slice the sugar snap peas and celery, chop the red bell pepper, and slice the green onions. (Chopping by Jake, he is a master!)
- When the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork. Dump the quinoa into a bowl (big enough to hold all the ingredients) and let it cool while you make the dressing.
- You can certainly use freshly grated ginger root in this, but for dressings I love this Spice World Ground Ginger Root (affiliate link) found by the Asian foods or in the produce department of many grocery stores.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, ginger puree, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or sweetener of your choice, and then whisk in the oil.
- Chop up enough peanuts to make about 1/2 cup chopped peanuts.
- When the quinoa is pretty cool, stir in about three tablespoons of the dressing.
- Stir in the chopped vegetables, add more dressing until the salad seems moist enough for you, and stir in the peanuts.
- Serve right away or refrigerate for a few hours; enjoy!
More Tasty Quinoa Salads:
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups vegetable broth (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups diagonally sliced sugar snap peas
- 1 cup diagonally sliced celery
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup diagonally sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 2 T soy sauce (see notes)
- 1 tsp. ground ginger root
- 1 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. Golden Monkfruit Sweetener
- 3 T avocado oil (see notes)
- (This will probably make more dressing than you need, but it’s good over rice or cooked vegetables.)
- Put the quinoa in a wire-mesh strainer and rinse well. (This removes a bitter coating on the quinoa.)
- Bring the vegetable stock to a low boil in a pan with a tight-fitting lid.
- When it boils, stir in the quinoa, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the pan, and cook 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes more.
- While the quinoa cooks, cut the sugar snap peas, celery, and green onions into thin diagonal slices and chop the red bell pepper into small pieces.
- When the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork. Dump the cooked quinoa into a bowl (big enough to hold all the ingredients) and let it cool while you prep the other ingredients.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the soy sauce, ginger puree, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and Golden Monkfruit sweetener and then whisk in the avocado oil.
- Chop enough peanuts to make 1/2 cup chopped peanuts.
- When the quinoa has cooled about 15 minutes, add about 3 tablespoons dressing to the bowl and stir to lightly coat the quinoa with dressing.
- Stir in the vegetables and chopped peanuts, adding a little more dressing as desired.
- Serve right away or chill for an hour or two before serving.
I used Ground Ginger Root from a jar for this recipe. I used a 14 oz. can of vegetable broth and added a little water to make 2 cups. Low sodium soy sauce is fine for this; use Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link) if needed. I'm a fan of Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link), but use any sweetener you prefer. If you don't have Avocado Oil (affiliate link) use any neutral-flavored vegetable oil.
This kept pretty well overnight in the fridge, although I thought it was best freshly made.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Asian Quinoa Salad has lots of vegetables and quinoa is a low-glycemic seed that’s loaded with fiber, so check the nutritional information to see what you think about the net carbs in this salad. Quinoa is restricted to Phase 2 or 3 for the original South Beach Diet.
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