the taste space

Tomato Avocado Quinoa Salad with a Carrot Ginger Sesame Dressing

Posted in Salads by janet @ the taste space on January 8, 2013

Tomato Avocado Quinoa Salad with a Carrot Ginger Sesame Dressing

Is it true? Carrots for the new year?

I hadn’t really thought about it until Deb posted her latest carrot soup creation. *swoon*

Tomato Avocado Quinoa Salad with a Carrot Ginger Sesame Dressing

But it must be true. It is the new year and I am on a carrot kick. Apparently my Mom has also been buying them like they are going out of style. HA!

Perfect for dipping in hummus, I love eating monster carrots like a horse. Chomp, chomp, chomp.

So, I have another carrot dressing for you. (Another hummus recipe is in the queue, no worries). This no-oil carrot dressing is even more creamy from the toasted sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. A little ginger adds some zing but it is tempered by the lemon juice. It looks similar to the carrot miso ginger dressing, but it is definitely richer. A deeper sesame flavour. Similar, yet different. Both delicious. I used Justin’s suggestion of serving the dressing atop a quinoa salad with tomato and avocado and was thrilled with the meal. Especially since my quinoa was warm. And warm salads are fun during winter.

Tomato Avocado Quinoa Salad with a Carrot Ginger Sesame Dressing

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Haalo.

Tomato Avocado Quinoa Salad with a Carrot Ginger Sesame Dressing
Adapted from The Lotus and the Artichoke

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted + extra for garnish
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 cm fresh ginger, peeled
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
agave syrup, to taste (I used 1 tsp)
1 tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s)
1/4 cup water, or to thin to your desired consistency

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
scanty 2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 avocado, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups chopped lettuce

1. Separately, toast your sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Allow to cool slightly. Add them, along with carrot, ginger, lemon juice and soy sauce to a high speed blender. (Otherwise grind your nuts/seeds first if your blender isn’t high speed). Add enough water to get it going. Add sweetener to taste and thin with additional water, as needed.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa: Bring vegetable broth to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add quinoa. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Keep covered for an additional 5 minutes to steam. Set aside.

3. To serve, mix together quinoa, tomato, avocado and lettuce. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkled reserved sesame seeds overtop.

Serves 4.

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15 Responses

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  1. Colette @JFF! said, on January 8, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    Lunch is served!

  2. LotusArtichoke said, on January 8, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    Looks great! Thanks for posting!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 8, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      No, thank you for the great recipe and cookbook! I want to try more recipes before I gush over your cookbook. :-)

  3. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said, on January 8, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    I could eat carrots all day, every day. Any orange food, actually. It’s amazing I don’t have a year round tan. Haha.

  4. Eileen said, on January 8, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Yay, another carrot dressing! I love the idea of combining lots of veg content with a hot grain salad. :)

  5. Ellen Lederman said, on January 8, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Sounds great! This will be the first salad dressing I’ve ever made without any oil…curious to see whether the seeds give it enough body and good mouth feel (I have a feeling they will!)

  6. Joanne said, on January 8, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Mmm I love carrot tahini soup so I imagine I’d adore this sesame-rich dressing!

  7. […] even a weekly special. No broccoli in the entire store. I thought new year’s meant more carrots, but maybe it really means […]

  8. Genevieve said, on January 10, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    That dressing looks so smooth and creamy! I’m surprised it would work without cooking the carrot first to soften it up before blending – if I don’t have an amazing blender, do you think a food processor would do the job? I wouldn’t think to pair a carrot dressing with a tomato-avocado salad, but it definitely looks tasty!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 10, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      Good question, Genevieve. I’d cook the carrots first if you don’t have a high-speed blender. :) I wouldn’t have thought to pair the avocado either but that’s how they do in Japanese restos. The quinoa was a different twist. :)

  9. Ellen Lederman said, on January 21, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Janet, I think you need to have a remedial recipe section for those of us who butcher (probably not the best word choice on a vegan blog!) your recipes through no fault of yours!
    It was going really well. The dressing was made. Then I saw I had left out the toasted sesame seeds (was waiting for them to cool). So I reblended them…..and they made the dressing turn from bright orange to a mustard color….because I used black sesame seeds (I have more of them than white and thought maybe they are more nutritious than white, being more highly colored). So now the dressing will match the quinoa color. We’ll just have to visualize it being a bright orange as in your photo.
    It’s delicious. I truly don’t miss the extra oil. Lots of good mouth feel. And considering that my husband just got back a very dire report about the calcification of his coronary arteries (genetics trumped daily exercise and a healthy vegetarian, mostly vegan, sometimes raw diet), we may need to start limiting oil.

  10. […] leftover hummus after a party, I decided to turn it into a thick dressing for my salad. My last carrot (ginger sesame) dressing was paired with quinoa, avocado and tomato. This time, I juxtaposed it against black rice, […]

  11. […] out my top 10 cookbooks to move with me, but I may have to revise that list as I have discovered new favourites. Even more scary is that I have partially migrated to electronic cookbooks. It makes it […]


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