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Gai Lan Quinoa Bowl

This dish’s official full name is Kick-in-the-Pants Gai Lan Quinoa Bowl. Why? Because on top of all of the amazing tastes in this bright and healthy bowl (gai lan, cabbage, peppers, carrots, cashews, quinoa), there’s a spicy dressing that’ll give you just the kick in the pants you need.

Kick-in-the-Pants Gai Lan Quinoa Bowl

Kick-in-the-Pants Gai Lan Quinoa Bowl

But let’s back up just a few steps to talk about gai lan. Gai lan, from our friends at Jade Asian Greens, is a vegetable also known as Chinese broccoli. It’s a flat, leafy vegetable, with only a few of those tiny flower heads that you would see on broccoli. It has a faint broccoli flavor without being too broccoli-ish, if you know what we mean. When it’s steamed or lightly stir-fried, it has a nice crunchy, hearty green flavor that goes with just about anything.

Gai Lan

When we cook it we like to steam it for just a few minutes, until it’s bright green and slightly wilted, and then shock it in cold water to stop it from cooking so it stays crisp. After you steam it just a little bit, it’s the perfect texture to pair with other crunchy veggies that you can eat warm, room temperature, or cold.

Gai Lan Bowl Horizontal

For this bowl we started with our delicious gai lan, and then we added quinoa, red peppers, carrots, purple cabbage, and cashews. We topped it off with a dressing made with sesame chili oil to give it a nice kick at the end. And for most of us who are trying to eat more healthy, isn’t that just what we need sometimes (a little kick)?

Gai Lan Quinoa Recipe

Gai Lan Quinoa Bowl

A kick-in-the-pants bowl made with Gai Lan and Quinoa, to get your new year's eating habits off to a healthy start.

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword bowl, carrots, cashews, gai lan, peppers, quinoa, spicy
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1/2 pound gai lan
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large carrot (steamed and sliced, or if you prefer raw, cut into thin julienne slices
  • 1 red pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup cashews

Spicy Chili Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter (or almond butter)


  1. Steam the gai lan, then chop it coarsely. Set it aside.

  2. Cook the quinoa: Add the quinoa, vegetable stock, oil, and salt to a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, cover it, and cook it for 15 minutes.

  3. Divide the quinoa between two bowls. Divide the gai lan, carrots, purple cabbage, peppers, and cashews between the bowls.

  4. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Divide between the two bowls.

P.S. Curious about other Asian greens? Try this Snow Pea Shoot Pappardelle.

Blogger disclosure: Jade Asian Greens compensated me for developing this recipe. All opinions expressed are my own.

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7 Responses to Gai Lan Quinoa Bowl

  1. Jade Asian Greens January 17, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    We’re nominating that as most beautiful, healthy dinner bowl, EVER! Thank you for using our gai lan greens in such a delicious way.

    • Jeanne January 18, 2016 at 9:19 am #

      Thanks, Jade Asian Greens! Gai lan is our all-time favorite!

  2. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious January 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    This is a great example of how to work greens into a meal. I like it, Jeanne, and gai lan is my fave too!

    • Jeanne January 19, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

      Thanks so much, Dorothy!


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