Whoa-Healthy Salad with Tahini Dressing

Kaki, this salad turned out so good.  So healthy!  So tasty!  So filling!  Eating it is like a freakin’ pat on the back; “Way to make good choices, me!”

Do you know this Maya Nahra lady?  She’s pretty cool.  I dig the whole “no food is bad, but you need to have a healthy relationship with it” angle.  And I hadn’t made any of her recipes until now, but this certainly won’t be the last.

Her original recipe includes the super-smart step of buying pre-shredded greens.  I thought, “Psh, I can do that myself!” and promptly spent quite a while in my kitchen prepping kale and cabbage and collards.  They were crazy delicious, but next time I’m passing the one Trader Joe’s in Austin I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up a bag of this just for the convenience factor.

Also, I tried this salad with a balsamic dressing first, and it was just meh.  Be sure to pair it with this tasty, tasty dressing, you will be trying to not eat it with a spoon, I promise.

That's one messy, tasty salad.

That’s one messy, tasty salad.

Whoa-Healthy Salad with Tahini Dressing

adapted from Maya Nahra

makes one salad


  • 1 small handful shredded red cabbage
  • 1 small handful collard greens, cut into ribbons
  • 1 small handful kale, cut into ribbons
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cooked green lentils*
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cooked red quinoa*
  • 1 small handful sunflower kernels (raw or toasted**)
  • Tahini Dressing (recipe below)

*Maya’s advice is to separately cook 2 cups each of quinoa and lentils, each in 4 cups of water or vegetable stock, each with a bay leaf.  A perfectly fine method, though the flavor of only using water wasn’t spectacular.  Mostly, though, cooking two cups of dry quinoa and lentils becomes SO MANY CUPS of cooked quinoa and lentils.  I froze almost a pound of each after a week of eating this salad for lunch.  I’d suggest cooking a 1/2 cup of each in 1 cup of vegetable stock each with 1/2 a bay leaf each (bring liquid to boil, add rinsed quinoa or lentils to pot with bay leaf, turn heat down slightly, simmer for about 10-minutes or until cooked to the tenderness you like).

**I really like sunflower kernels, and they are super healthy as seeds go.  I prefer them toasted but am often too lazy to do so.  Either would work nicely here.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, tossing to get the dressing evenly distributed.  EAT!

Tahini Dressing

adapted from Food & Wine

makes enough for two of the above salads


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey (start with one and add to taste)
  • Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a tall measuring cup and blend with an immersion blender.  Or place all ingredients in a blender and blend.  You’re blending all of these together in some form or fashion is what I’m saying.


And that’s it!  What the biggest BONUS of this recipe?  It packs like a dream.  I prepped two salads in tupperware by layering the ingredients in order (greens on bottom, dressing on top) and put them in my fridge for work lunches.  The greens are hearty enough not to get all wilty from being around the dressing for, yup, even two days in the fridge.  Probably longer, but they weren’t around long enough for me to find out.

Can’t wait to visit you soon, my dear!  You’ll have to let me know what ingredients to import for you.  Millet?  More farro? 😉

Until then,



P.S. Why yes, that is the green salad bowl from Swashbuckler kitchen, how did you know? 🙂


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