Ginger-Lime Quinoa Bowls with Salmon

When I'm not double fisting fig cake into my mouth, I try to make sure I abide by healthy eating habits (emphasis on the word try). This recipe is the perfect example of squeezing every last bit of flavor into a dish that is not only healthy, but satisfying. One master vinaigrette of ginger and lime flavors the whole dish, while pickled onions and marinated tomatoes add the perfect tang. Tender seared salmon and creamy avocado top it off for the perfect grain bowl.

Playing off the Asian flavors of this dish, I grabbed some adult pea tendrils in Chinatown for the dish. Have you ever seen the micro pea leaves at the market? Well, these are just adult versions of them snipped off the pea plant. If you happen to spot them they add a lovely delicate pea flavor to the dish, but if you can't baby spinach is just as great subbed in.

Ginger-Lime Quinoa Bowls with Salmon

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling time

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time


For the Pickled Onions:

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup olive oil 

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon minced garlic chives

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated

1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced

Kosher salt, to taste

For the Bowls:

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil 

2 cups adult pea tendrils or baby spinach

Kosher salt, to taste

1 pound salmon, cut into four 4-ounce fillets

4 cups cooked quinoa

2 radishes, thinly sliced 

2 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias 

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced


  1. Make the picked onions: Place the onions in a medium, heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining pickled onion ingredients to a boil, then pour over the onions. Let cool completely. 
  2. Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified. 
  3. Prepare the bowls: In a small glass bowl, toss together the cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and let marinate. 
  4. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pea tendrils and cook until wilted, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and keep warm.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of each fillet with salt. Sear, flipping once, until golden and cooked to medium, 2 to 3 minutes per side. 
  6. In a medium bowl, toss the quinoa with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and divide between 4 bowls. Place a piece of salmon in the center of each bowl, then divide the pickled onions, marinated tomatoes, sautéed pea tendrils, radishes, scallions and avocado around each fillet. Serve immediately.