Thai Quinoa Salad is a fresh, healthy colourful vegetarian side dish. Perfect for a buffet table and great for leftovers the next day. Very flavorful.
I was invited to a retirement party this weekend and asked to bring some type of salad. The menu theme was dairy, vegetarian and fish. I decided to make a quinoa salad and started casting around on the internet for a recipe. I found a good one with Thai flavors by Jennifer Segal at Once Upon a Chef and used it as a base, making a few adjustments of my own.
This simple Thai Quinoa Salad has a lot going for it. It’s super healthy, loaded with vegetables, herbs and protein. It has interesting flavors. It can be made ahead. And – very important in my book – it’s got great eye appeal.
I served this jazzed up salad in a glass bowl to show off the colors and textures. In fact, if you want to kick it up another notch, you can add some chopped cashews or peanuts for extra crunch and some chopped red cabbage for even more vibrant colors. The salad keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days, making great leftovers or a perfect pot luck contribution.
Several people at the retirement party asked me for the recipe and took home “loot bags” of the leftover Thai Quinoa Salad. So… I guess it was a hit!
Thai Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, pre-washed or rinced
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 red pepper, cut in thin 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil or mint, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed (3-4 limes)
- 3 tbsp pineapple or orange juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes (or more if you like more heat)
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- MAKE THE QUINOA: Combine quinoa, water and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to low, cove and cook for 15 minutes. Cooked quinoa will sprout little tails from the grains when done. Transfer to a serving bowl and cool in the fridge.
- MAKE THE THAI DRESSING: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
- COMBINE: Once quinoa is cooled, combine vegetables, herbs and thai dressing. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings and herbs. Add some finely grated orange zest if desired. Chill in fridge for up to 2-3 days.