Quinoa Salad with Smokey Bear Dressing

Is it weird that the entire time I was enjoying this bowl of quinoa salad I was thinking of Smokey the bear?


Only you can prevent forest fires…

Oh my gosh, blast from the past.

But this recipe isn’t about bears, or forest fires, or PSA’s from 1950, sorry to disappoint.

This recipe is about smoky dressing that pairs nicely with quinoa, beans, and is great heated up, too.

It has a smokey BBQ flavor with a slight kick at the end.

If smokey the bear could pick his favorite dressing, I think he’d choose this one.

Smokey Bear Dressing

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Low fat sweet BBQ flavored gluten-free salad dressing.

Yield: 2 cups (500mL)

Servings: 16


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup unpasteurized honey or agave nectar *see note
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon onion
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Herbamare
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • dash of freshly ground pepper


Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

note: if you want to keep this recipe vegan, use agave instead of honey

(1 serving = 2 tablespoon) calories: 58 | fat: 3.5g | carbohydrate: 7.5g | sugars: 6g

Smokey Bear Quinoa

Yield: 3 cups

Servings: 2

  • 1 cup mixed beans
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 8 baby tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup curly parsley, diced
  • 1/4 cup smokey bear dressing
  • 1/8 medium red onion, sliced

Mix and serve!

After I finished enjoying this salad last night, Lexy, Pebbles and I went out into the backyard to let off some steam. They were running around the house like crazy. Chasing one another, barking… maybe they were jealous of my dinner?

That happens a lot around here.

After 45 minutes of fetching the ball at least 3582735982 times, I decided to take them inside and make a batch of their favorite snack, Cinnibone Dog Treats.

There was no running around after that! I even got some shots of Lexy staying still! She never, ever does that for me.

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Leanne, these photos are gorgeous! I love all the bright pops of colour. I’ve been looking around for some easy homemade dressing recipes because over the past couple of months I’ve been shocked at the amount of sodium in the dressings I usually buy. I think I’ll give this one a try!

  2. I really need to get myself some smoked paprika – that dressing sounds amazing! That salad is so colorful and pretty – YUM!

    Your Lexy baby is so adorable, what a sweet face. I love that you make your furry-baby homemade treats, too. I used to make our last dog, Derby, homemade treats and cakes for her birthday, she loved it. I made our pooch now, Seri, homemade dog ice cream this summer for her birthday since she seems to have a gluten allergy (go figure) and we still wanted to spoil her.

  3. Wow, what a beautifully colored salad. I’ll be adding this one to my list of new recipes to try out. I love me some quinoa. What’s Herbamere, by the way? A spice?
    P.S. Is Lexy single? She’s muy bonita :)

    • heh your comment made me laugh so hard I cried. She IS single. Maybe we should set you two up on a date? Herbamare is a flavored sea salt. If you can’t find it at your local market, sea salt will do the trick!

      • Thanks for the info, Leanne! And tell Miss Lexi if she’s ever in the Central Oregon area, I would love to take her out for a romantic walk to the dog park followed by a few licks behind her ears. And what lovely ears she has :)

  4. I like the sound of that dressing, and the salad! I have to admit, I have no idea what herbamare is…gonna have to Google that one.

    • It’s a flavored sea salt. You can use plain regular salt, too!

  5. You had me at smokey the bear, but there was definitely no turning back after I started browsing through your recipes! I’m so glad I’ve found your blog :) I added it to my reader and can’t wait to come back for more.

  6. What a *beautiful* dog! That salad looks delicious – I’ll add the ingredients to my shopping list this week. :-) Have a great weekend!

  7. Looking at Lexy makes me miss our wonderful German Shepard! He loved to run and play too. His specialty was catching frisbees in mid air! Never missed. That salad looks amazing-going to have to try it.

  8. What cute dogs… I’ll have to try making those treats for my friend’s dog (I’m a cat person).
    The quinoa salad looks absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to make the dressing.

  9. Love the dog and the recipe! I’m not sure I’ve seen Herbamare in the store. I’ll have to check it out. I’m a big quinoa fan – I’ll be glad to add this recipe to my favorites!

    • If you don’t have herbamare, sea salt or Himalayan rock salt will do the trick! Enjoy :)

  10. This salad dressing is my new favorite. If the salad has boiled eggs on it… oh man… it’s the best! My fave is this on a mixed greens, boiled egg, olive, bacon, and tomato salad. Such flavor!

    Thanks so much for sharing your creations.

    • Oh yum, I love the idea of adding bacon to the mix, I bet the flavors are delish! Have a great weekend, Stephanie :)

  11. hai leanne
    your are a such inspiration to those people who wants to have healthy and tasty food,all ur recipes are wonderful,my son loves store bought jams made with white sugar,he eats everything with jam pancake,breads,cakes,cookies etc..i know its not good for his healthy but i am helpless can u give me some healthy fruit jam recipe please…

    • Hi there, thanks for your comment! Have you tried blending his favorite fruits and adding a bit of chia seed along with it? It’ll give you that jam consistency but with 0 sugars! Hope that helps :)

        • What about flax seed? I believe I saw some when I was in India, but I could be mistaken.

  12. thank god you said flax seed,yesterday i bought a bottle of it and i had no clue what to do with it..thank u so much for the tips :)

  13. Oh dear, 2 out of three in one day! This was positively double yum! Dressing was different and full of flavor. I cut the agave down to 1/4 as well as the olive oil. I’m not doing much beans right now after O D-ing on chick peas! So I subbed avocado and the added toasted organic coconut flakes on top. Oh and massaged the dressing on ribbons of kale before I added everything else! Thanks! Made your mushroom soup which is for tomorrow and have the pumpkin smoothie next in line! Your recipes are right up my alley!

    • Wow, look at you go, Jodie! Glad you liked it… and boy, do I know how to OD on chickpeas!

  14. Wow this is a great recipe for salad dressing. I think I will add some more EVOO because I love it so much. Im new to the blogging scene but I’ve seen yours before. You have a wonderful blog! :)

    • Hi Joshua – thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself! Welcome to the blogging community, and enjoy the dressing :)

  15. Just in case anyone is wondering, the Smokey Bear Dressing is AMAZING! I haven’t paired it with Quinoa salad so I can’t comment on that. But the dressing….yummy…..I could just drink it!

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