Thai Quinoa Salad

From the very first bite, this recipe became an instant favorite of ours.  What stood out to me was all of the different flavors popping all at once.  When you try it out for yourself, you’ll see that this dish has a whole lot going on.

According to the original recipe, this was intended to be more of a side dish served cold.  However, the first time I made it, Stacy and I were both so hungry that I decided to skip the step of allowing it to cool and instead just ate it warm.  Were we ever rewarded!

In doing so, we felt like it ate like more of a meal than a salad.  I even went one step further by cooking up some shrimp that I had in the freezer to go with it, which has become the way I do it every time now.  And since the shrimp is added at the end, if some don’t want it, just leave it off for them and everyone is happy.

On rare occasions, we do have leftovers and I have tried it cold, the way it was originally intended.  It’s good, but not as good.  At least in my opinion.  If you do choose to try the hot option, just take your quinoa right off the stove and toss it together with everything else and eat it right away.  I simply boil the shrimp which only takes a few minutes and that’s all there is to it.

I’ve made this dish for the entire spectrum of the eating chain.  From vegetarians to hardcore carnivores and even the pickiest of eaters, and guess what?

100% satisfaction with this one every time!

I almost forgot to give credit where credit is due.  This too came from the Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow Cookbook.



  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 2 large)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
  • 1 cup packed mint leaves or cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed, minced
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped



  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce



  • In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil 1 1/2 cups water and the quinoa.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.  Transfer to a large salad bowl, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, put the olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, honey, and fish sauce in a glass jar or bowl and stir to combine.
  • Once the quinoa is cool, add the carrots, cabbage, onion, mint, basil, and pepper to the bowl and toss to combine.  Add the dressing and toss again.  Taste and, if needed, add more fish sauce and/or soy sauce.
  • Top with the peanuts.  Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.