gluten free vegan asian meal in a bowl with quinoa topped with bean sprouts

An Asian Quinoa Salad Bowl with Easy Peanut Dressing is a satisfying meal in a bowl filled with gluten-free grain, crunchy veggies, and healthy black beans. If we were naming this dish something catchy for a menu, here’s what we’d do. We’d call this an Eternal Rainbow Glow Bowl because the ingredients may make you feel all aglow—from the inside out!

And there’s one spectacular little ingredient that we can hardly wait for you to experience that adds to that glow. It’s a simple addition that ties all of the flavors together like the ribbon on a beautifully wrapped present.

So, when the new special ingredient arrived shortly before a photoshoot, we got excited!  Our excitement over this special plant-based flavor-enhancing ingredient even made us switch the salad we’d scheduled to shoot.

To top our gorgeous bowl filled with fresh veggies, I knew that I wanted to feature our no-cook Thai peanut dressing drizzle. And as luck would have it, the addition of ground black cumin seeds added a delightful new zip to this favorite dressing. One taste and Mike and I knew we had a unique, fresh-tasting, easy to make, meal in a bowl! And yes, you guessed it—black cumin seeds are the special ingredient!

Here’s a quick shout-out for Dr. Michael Gregor. You see, we gave these black cumin seeds a try after hearing him mention its astounding attributes. Dr. Greger is the author of How Not to Die and How Not to Diet. He is also the Founder of the incredibly informative website, Nutrition Facts. 

Trying Something New, or Actually, Not so New: Black Cumin Seed

Since giving black cumin seeds a try, we’ve found many delicious ways to put them to use.

Here’s a little insider info about the way a recipe writing blogger sleeps at night. Thinking of clever new ways to use healthy ingredients keeps me up at night! Nerdy, perhaps—but true.

You may already be familiar with regular ground cumin. Cumin is a warm and earthy spice often found in favorite savory foods such as chili and tacos. It’s a common spice in both Indian and Mexican cuisine, for sure. And as for the fantastic little kick of flavor you get to experience from freshly ground cumin seeds, black seeds or regular, it’s noticeably worth the effort of grinding a few tiny seeds.

You simply must taste and experience the subtle difference for yourself. The best way we can think to describe it is that it tastes a little like regular cumin seed but with an added flavor note or two. Black cumin seems to have hints of parsley and fennel. 

Now, we often catch ourselves adding ground black cumin seeds to season our food just as we would salt and pepper. And we expect black cumin seeds to gain in popularity. You’ll probably notice them popping up in all sorts of dishes, especially in new plant-based recipes we share with you!

lime wedges ready to squeeze on a quinoa bowl seasoned with ground black cumin seeds

What is Black Cumin Seed?

The black cumin seed, or Nigella sativa, looks a bit like a pepper seed that you can enjoy either raw or cooked. We think ground black cumin tastes a lot like regular cumin, only maybe a bit, toastier or even just a pinch bitter—but in a good way.

Originally from South Asia and the Mediterranean, black cumin seeds were written about in The Bible, so folks have been experiencing their benefits for thousands of years.

It is believed that the little black seed may be able to help you deal with allergies, pain, or inflammation. It may also help with overall liver health—and a healthy liver is vital. And to top off the long list of benefits of black cumin seeds, it’s even thought to provide anti-cancer properties. 

If you have ever heard mention of black seed oil, well, that widely appreciated oil comes from black cumin seeds.

Copper, zinc, iron, healthy fats, some protein, and a few carbs are what you can get from eating these tiny little health inducing flavor bombs. And additional benefits include that black cumin seed is anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, a provider of super antioxidants, and more!

black cumin seeds add flavor to a hearty meal in a bowl made with satisfying quinoa

Everything You Need to Build an Easy Asian Quinoa Vegetarian Meal in a Bowl! 

What we have for you here is a hearty, satisfying, salad-type meal in a bowl that requires very few ingredients. An easy to make bowl meal is what we set out to create, and that is what we did—complete with extra healthy flavor boosters!

And while this bite of goodness evolved into a more elevated vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based dish with the tasty addition of black cumin seed, it still comes together in minutes!

All you need to do to make yourself an Asian Quinoa Salad Bowl Meal is to gather a few everyday ingredients that build an excellent, creative combination of flavors.

This Asian Quinoa Salad Bowl with Easy Thai Peanut Dressing starts with a layer of greens, strands of crunchy purple cabbage, thin carrot sticks, bean sprouts, and bright specs of diced yellow sweet pepper.

All of those already fabulously nutrient-rich flavors get a huge nutritional boost from a gluten-free grain called quinoa. But wait, lol, there’s more!

In addition to the veggies and quinoa, there’s a generous helping of healthy beans. Add a drizzle of our easy peanut dressing and a sprinkle of ground black cumin seeds, and you’re set to enjoy one nutritious, vegetarian and vegan meal in a bowl!

So all in all, this recipe is very much a salad—but yet it’s so much more. We believe you’ll come to think of this meal in a bowl as a salad with benefits. And those benefits make for one amazingly satisfying and nutritious, vegan and gluten-free lunch or dinner!

Quinoa: A Healthy Gluten-Free Grain

Quinoa has become one of the most popular gluten-free grains. Part of that popularity is likely because it’s an incredibly versatile ingredient – it pairs well with almost everything!

As well as being versatile, it’s a great source of fiber and plant-based protein. Adding a bit to a bowl of beans, soup, salad, or a handy meal in a bowl, like this Asian Quinoa Salad Bowl, is a super simple way to boost your nutrient intake.

And speaking of nutrients, quinoa also ranks high in popularity because it’s one of the healthiest grains.

For example, the high amount of antioxidants in quinoa may help reduce the risk of disease – without a doubt, that’s easily one of our favorite reasons why we adore those little specs of grain.

Also, quinoa is an excellent protein source because it is one of the few plant foods that provide a complete protein.

To read more facts bout the gluten-free grain, quinoa, we suggest this article published by Healthline.

easy thai peanut dressing tops off this crunchy gluten free plant based meal bowl

Here’s How to Make an Asian Quinoa Salad Bowl in Minutes!

Do you ever find yourself craving fresh-tasting meals that come together quickly? 

Here’s a step by step guide describing how to make yourself a healthy, delicious tasting meal in a bowl with homemade Easy Thai Peanut Dressing.

  • First, start with a bed of greens and cabbage. 
  • Then, sprinkle your bed of greens and gorgeous red cabbage with a bit of cooked quinoa. Adding a little protein-rich quinoa to a salad or bowl is a terrific way to use up that leftover quinoa you stash away in the fridge.
  • Now, add some healthy beans; we used healthy black beans because we adore black beans’ flavor and look.
  • And don’t forget the rainbow of color you get to enjoy by adding bright colored veggies to your bowls. Add a pop of orange carrot sticks, thin slices of sunny yellow sweet pepper, a few chopped green onions, and fresh bean sprouts.
  • A sprinkle of ground black cumin seeds or regular ground cumin takes the flavors to another level.
  • Drizzle everything with our Easy Peanut Dressing, chopped cilantro, and a wedge of lime if you like, and get ready to visit flavor town! Shave even more meal prep minutes by making a batch of peanut dressing ahead of time!
chunks of yellow pepper add pops of sunshine to quinoa bowl with red cabbage and crunchy bean sprouts

6 Healthy Vegan and Gluten-Free Meal in a Bowl Recipes—Just for You!

We think it’s delightful when one deliciously easy meal idea leads to another, don’t you? And we really get excited when a sauce for one meal works well with another. That’s the way it is with our Easy Thai Peanut Dressing – it plays nice with loads of other bowl combos!

And that’s what you’ll experience after making this Asian Quinoa Salad Bowl with Easy Peanut Dressing and then giving another one of these simple meals in a bowl a try.

Making a Meal in a Bowl is EASY!

I don’t know about you, but even though a meal in a bowl is an easy way to get food on the table, it feels like quite an accomplishment when you find creative new ways to sneak in, I mean, mindfully include healthy beans in a recipe.

Be sure to try black cumin seeds the next time you make this bowl or anything else calling for our Thai peanut dressing batch. The flavor combination is incredible!

And, as always, thank you for taking a moment to check out this recipe. Just think—a gorgeous, nutrient-loaded, delicious tasting meal in a bowl, complete with a hearty helping of healthy black beans and quinoa is yours for the making! 

Mike and I hope that you’ll love this dish so much that you’ll want to try ALL of our health-minded, delicious tasting, easy-to-make, meals in a bowl.

And when you do give one of our recipes a whirl, let us know how it goes. Hearing from you is the icing on the cake, or in this case, the dressing on the hearty Asian quinoa salad bowl!

Happy Eating!

pink napkin green onions red purple cabbage leaves and jar of homemade thai peanut dressing surround a gorgeous colorful salad with sprouts
fast and fresh looking salad in a bowl ready to drizzle with an easy thai peanut dressing

Asian Quinoa Salad Bowl with Easy Thai Peanut Dressing

  • 20
  • 0
    Cook Time:
  • Yield: 1 Servings

This quick and easy, protein-packed meal calls for super simple ingredients that just happen to taste delicious, snuggled in a bowl, together! Hearty fresh cooked, or leftover quinoa, sits on top of a bowl of crunchy red cabbage, carrots, sprouts, and your choice of fresh greens. A few healthy beans and a sprinkle of tasty black cumin seeds ties it all together to create a mouthful of happiness! Oh, and don’t forget the Easy Peanut Dressing – it’s bound to make a meal-in-a-bowl lover out of even the pickiest eater. And, by the way, this bowl tastes terrific served with a fresh batch of our whole food plant-based Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins.



  1. Begin building your bowl by laying down a base layer of fresh greens and cabbage.
  2. Next, add a rainbow of color with carrot sticks, sweet pepper, and a few chopped green onions.
  3. Then, add the beans and prepared quinoa. Next, sprinkle on a bit of ground black cumin seeds or regular ground cumin, freshly chopped cilantro, and fresh sprouts.
  4. Now, top everything off with a generous drizzle Easy Peanut Dressing, and serve with a fresh wedge of lime for a little extra zip, if you like. 


  • Protein: Adding protein-rich quinoa to a salad or bowl is a terrific way to use leftover quinoa and speed up meal prep. Want more protein—add a little more quinoa or a few more black beans!
  • Time Saving Prep:  Shave even more meal prep minutes by making a batch of no-cook Easy Peanut Dressing ahead to use whenever you happen to need it!
  • Spices: If you do not have black cumin seeds, as an alternative, you can use a bit of traditional ground cumin, or, with a grinder like this one, grind your own whole traditional cumin seeds.
  • Dressing:  If you prefer more dressing than the suggested two tablespoons, note that each additional tablespoon of our whole food plant-based, oil-free, and gluten-free Easy Peanut Dressing will add about fifty calories to your healthy meal.


% DV

Calories Per Serving: 491
  • Total Fat 11.8 g 18 %
  • Saturated Fat 1.4 g 7 %
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
  • Sodium 905.5 mg 38 %
  • Carbohydrates 81.8 g 27 %
  • Fiber 23.4 g 93 %
  • Sugar 18.8 g ---
  • Protein 24.6 g 49 %
  • Vitamin A 139 %
  • Vitamin C 400 %
  • Iron 59 %
  • Calcium 26 %

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