Japanese Inspired Quinoa Salad with Edamame for A Whole Day for Whole Grain

Today is A Whole Day for Whole Grain and the final day of National Nutrition Month 2022, Celebrate A World of Flavors. I’d like to share a recipe along this theme that I presented at the Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference last month. I love to spread the word that there is a healthy diet in all cultures and cuisines; it is a joy to think of ways to showcase health-promoting recipes with flavors from around the world. “Rice and beans” is a classic example of a plant-based, inexpensive recipe that features plant protein and whole grains. This dish is often thought of as a Latin American, Southern or Caribbean dish, but if you stretch the concept a little bit, you can apply it to any whole grain and any legume. In this recipe, I use Japanese ingredients and flavors to play on this theme. To your health!

Japanese Inspired Quinoa Salad with Edamame

Yield: 6 to 8


For the dressing:

3 T Freshly squeezed lemon juice                      

1 T Toasted sesame oil                                         

1 T Reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari        

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste          

For the salad:

3 cups cooked quinoa                                             

grated zest of 1 lemon                                   

1 large leaf curly green or Tuscan kale                       

1 Persian cucumber, ¼” dice                         1  

1 cup edamame, shelled, cooked and cooled     

2 T sliced scallions                        

1 avocado, sliced or diced                           

1/2 cup Furikake or toasted sesame seeds             

Salt, to taste


  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or a jar with a lid. Set aside.
  2. Put cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add dressing and lemon zest and stir to combine. 
  3. Strip kale from its center rib, then tear into bite sized pieces or slice thinly. Use your hands to massage leaves until tender, darker green and glossy, 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Add massaged kale, cucumber, edamame and scallions to the quinoa and stir or toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt to taste.
  5. Transfer salad to a serving platter, then lay the slices of avocado on top. Scatter with furikake or toasted sesame seeds.


-Toasted sesame oil is the sesame oil sold in Asian groceries or in the Asian section of supermarkets. Do not use untoasted sesame oil (different flavor).

-Reduced sodium versions of soy sauce and tamari (which is gluten-free) is still high in sodium.

-May substitute ¼ of an English cucumber for 1 Persian cucumber.

Variation: May substitute other greens, if desired. If using baby greens, such as arugula, baby kale or baby spinach, do not massage.

Source: Linda Shiue, as presented at the 2022 Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives® conference.

Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved.