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10 June, 2015

Red Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Comments : 26 Posted in : Appetizer, Diabetes Friendly Thursdays, Easy lunch box recipes on by : apsara Tags: , , , ,


Creating recipes with a cause! Welcome to Delish and Fun Thursdays!!! A lovely red quinoa salad recipe today!
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Cleanse your bodies with wholesome Salads with the DFT team, this week!

A salad gets interesting only when the dressing tastes good, don’t you think?

I made some quinoa salad combined with some greens and celery, and decided to add some zing with a homemade dressing with sesame seeds and lemon juice. This salad is rich in protein and makes a meal by itself. No sugar in any form, so perfect for diabetics too!


Here are some facts that I found about Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”)

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is typically consumed in the same way as the cereal grasses like wheat, oats  etc.  Technically, quinoa is not a cereal grass at all, but rather a member of the same food family that contains spinach, Swiss chard, and beets. Many researchers refer to quinoa as a “pseudocereal.” This term is typically used to describe foods that are not grasses but can still be easily ground into flour. (from whfoods.com)

It is a complete protein source, due to the presence of amino acids lysine and iso-leucine. It is also supposed to have health-supportive fats, in the form of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and alpha-linolenic acid or ALA—the omega-3 fatty acid, associated with decreased risk of inflammation-related disease.

Red quinoa can be cooked easily on stove top by adding 2 parts water to one part of quinoa. I use a pressure cooker and add  1 1 /2 parts water for one part of quinoa.

Tip To Make your Salad interesting

Vegetables pickled in vinegar make an easy and tasty addition to salads. Make sure you buy something without added color and preservatives.

Ingredients to avoid are: yellow food color, sodium benzoate and sulfites.

Check This Awesome Post:

While you are here, do check out this comprehensive link from Cooking Detective to incorporate 23 different Superfoods in the diet.

Red Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing (gluten-free, vegan)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for salad:

cooked red quinoa- 3/4 cup

Romaine lettuce- 1 bunch (can use any lettuce variety)

celery stalks- 4-5

roasted red pepper- 2-3 chunks (I used pickled, Whole Foods brand)

artichoke hearts- 2-3 (also pickled in a jar, Whole Foods brand)

dried cranberries- 2 tsp. (Use the Whole Foods brand that is naturally sweetened with apple juice, no refined sugar)

toasted almonds (Find out in this post how to make it easily at home)

Ingredients for Dressing:

sesame seeds- 1/4 cup

juice from 2 large lemons

red chilly flakes- 1 tsp.

dried Italian spice blend- 1 tbsp.

sea salt- to taste

extra virgin olive oil- 2-3 tsp.

vinegar- 1 tbsp.


1. Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan on low flame till they turn light brown.

2. Blitz along with the other dressing ingredients in a small blender, till smooth. If needed, some water/vinegar can be added to blend it.

3. Toss the salad ingredients together except the toasted almonds which can be used as garnish while serving (to retain crunch).

4. Add a little of the dressing to the salad and serve the rest in small cups.


Ready made Tahini paste can be used instead of making it at home too.

Sharing this at the Vegan Potluck Link Up #49 at Urban Naturale.


Check the other DFT posts this week from my friends:

Sonal: Asian Mung Sprouts Salad with Peanut-Ginger Dressing

Prachi: Mediterranean Barley Salad

Shailaja: Garbanzo Bean Salad

Anupama: Lettuce Salad Wrap with Tzaziki Sauce

Suchitra: Methi Sprouts Salad

Swati: Bulgur Wheat Salad- Tabbouleh

Chahat: Moroccan Carrot Orange Salad

Parvathy: Kale and Eggplant Salad with Cashew Habareno Dressing


26 thoughts on : Red Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

  • June 10, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Red Quinoa looks like small pearls, salad is colourful & vibrant, another addition to my Salad list 🙂

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:45 am

      Absolutely! I love the little grains and their texture. Thank you, Chahat.

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  • June 10, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    what an AMAZING salad this is Apsara! looks fantastic too. Love it!! soo delicious! loved the addition of nuts, cranberry and red quinoa too 🙂

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:46 am

      thank you, Anu.

  • June 10, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    This looks really yummy, Apsara! I have just recently discovered quinoa, and like it. It was great to read what the health benefits are. Your dressing sounds delicious, and I love the ingredients in the salad!

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:47 am

      thank you so much, Shari. I too love this grain!

  • Sonal
    June 10, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    How very creative Apsara! Loved the recipe and the clicks as well.

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  • June 11, 2015 at 5:08 am

    I simply love the way you transform Quinoa in your food ! This salad looks yummy all the way ! A must try 🙂

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:51 am

      Thanks, Prachi. I do hope you give it a try.

  • June 11, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Wow ur clicks r stunning.. Salad looks yum vibrant color are so appetizing for eyes

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:52 am

      thank you, Vidya. Still learning photography tricks, and slowly getting better…

  • Parvathy V Nair
    June 11, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Beautiful !!! I love red quinoa and the combination with lemon tahini is definitely something to try for ..

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:53 am

      thank you, Parvathy. The dressing does make it flavorful.

  • June 11, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    amazing.. Yet to explore red quinoa.. superb Apsara.

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:57 am

      thank you, Sri. I like the nutty flavor of red quinoa over the white variety in salads.

  • June 11, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Its looks beautiful and super delicious!

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:57 am

      thank you, Kushi.

  • Swati
    June 12, 2015 at 4:18 am

    Awesome Salad Apsara…

    • apsara
      June 13, 2015 at 2:57 am

      thanks, dear.

  • June 14, 2015 at 8:38 am

    So colourful, so healthy, so tasty!!!
    Love the dressing, tangy and nutty!!!

  • June 17, 2015 at 3:21 am

    Hi Aspara,
    I have always loved red quinoa. It is so hearty and chewy! It is one of my favorite healthy, comfort foods so I am delighted that you shared your healthy and delicious Red Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing recipe with us on the Plant-Based Potluck Party Link Up. I appreciate it and I can’t wait to try your recipe. I’m pinning and sharing.

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  • June 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    What an awesome protein packed salad! Both quinoa and Tahini are my favorites! Perfect for lunch!

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