Asian Quinoa Salad with Almond-Soy-Ginger Dressing
This is not one of those recipes found in a fancy schmancy molecular gastronomy cookbooks that needs to be followed to a tee. The basic idea is to use vegetables of every color and texture, chop them well, and weave everything together with the dressing. I have found that blanching the green beans makes them vibrant and easier to eat. I created this recipe for a dinner party of 8, and we still had leftovers, so keep that in mind and halve the recipe if you’re cooking for a small crowd (or, it makes a great lunch to enjoy throughout the week)!
Recipe type: Salad, side
Serves: 8 servings as a side
  • For the Salad:
  • 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • ½ lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, julienned, and roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced and roughly chopped red cabbage (about ½ small cabbage)
  • ¾ cup almond slivers
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (1 small bunch)
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1½ tablespoons peeled and finely grated ginger
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce (check for gluten-free tamari if needed)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  1. Bring the quinoa to a boil with a scant 3 cups water (quinoa will retain some water when you rinse it, so I always use less water when cooking). Immediately reduce to a simmer, and cook for 12 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft and the germ ring (white outline) is visible around each grain. If there is excess moisture in the quinoa, set it in a fine sieve to drain. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Blanch the green beans: Fill a medium saucepan with water and a couple teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Set a large bowl of ice water to the side of the stove. Cook the green beans for about a minute, until bright green and still crisp. Immediately plunge them into the ice water to cool. Once cool, slice on the bias (diagonally) into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Toast the almonds in a medium frying pan over medium heat until lightly golden brown and fragrant. Allow to cool.
  4. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a bowl or liquid measuring cup. Combine and toss the cooked quinoa, and all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and stir until evenly coated. Chill in the refrigerator or serve as is!
Recipe by Spoon With Me at