Thai Quinoa Salad

You know those nights when you wake up at 2 am and are unable to fall back to sleep?  Maybe because you are obsessing over your to-do list for the next day.  Or maybe because you started thinking about spring and that led to thoughts of everything that you can’t wait to do when the weather starts getting nice again.  Or, perhaps, you are unable to fall back to sleep because you cannot get Bennie and the Jetts to stop playing on repeat in your brain.  Has Elton John ever prevented you from sleeping?  It must just be me.

I discovered last night that it is hard to cure the Bennie-and-the-Jetts-Elton-John-2 am brain.  I tried getting up and reading.  I tried drinking a warm glass of almond milk.  Then I tried making this.  Apparently there might be a 2 am cure.  And it involves quinoa.

Thai Quinoa Salad




This salad is perfect for a light lunch or healthy 2 am snack.  Feel free to double the batch to have plenty of leftovers for easy weeknight dinners… or Elton John cures.

Thai Quinoa Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 4 - 6
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 dried dates, chopped
  • Salad:
  • 1 cup red quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 cup (unsweetened) coconut flakes
  • 1 cup kale, stems removed, shredded
  • ⅓ cup cashews, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  1. For dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. Set aside and prepare the salad ingredients.
  2. Add quinoa and water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and let cook until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Let the quinoa cool for a few minutes.
  3. Mix quinoa with carrots, coconut flakes, kale, cashews, and cilantro. Mix in dressing. Can be served warm or cold.
Adapted from Birgitte Antonsen

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  1. kim garrison says

    oh my goodness this looks SO GOOD i cannot wait to make it. so happy to stumble upon your blog today! thank you.

  2. Terri, Everett, WA says

    I am normally not a blogger. However, I stumbled upon your blog and am hooked. I tried your creamy broccoli & kale soup first. This was a huge hit! The next day I had a little left over and decided to add 1/2 C. cooked quinoa to the soup. Another hit, with added protein!

    My family use to think I added tofu to everything. Now it is quinoa! So when I checked your blog today and saw the delicious picture of Thai Quinoa Salad…..OMG! Thai is my personal favorite. So to add quinoa to the mix…can’t wait to try it! Salivating all the way to the store :) THANK YOU!!

    • says

      Aww, thanks Terri! That is a huge compliment! Hope you enjoy the quinoa salad – it is so addictive! I’ve already made two batches this week! :)

  3. Kelly B. says

    Hi Sonnet! I am loving your blog these days! Ginger and I have made two of the recipes in the last few days – the Thai Quinoa Salad and the Creamy Broccoli and Kale soup. Both were amazingly delicious. Your blog is looking fantastic these days, too!

  4. says

    I made this tonight for dinner. My husband and I both loved it! I will be making it for a family party soon, and have a friend that hates cilantro…Would basil work?

    • says

      Basil is great in this salad! I recently tried that variation and I think it might even be better than cilantro. So glad you enjoyed the recipe! :)

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