It’s Thursday, so I’m throwing it back to last summer when I first began exploring vegan recipes. Same recipe, new photos!
This is one of my favorite salads because it contains no leafy greens. The toppings I typically add to a leafy salad have become the salad in its entirety. This vegan power salad is chock full of crunchy texture and protein and paired with a smooth, yet bright, orange-maple-miso dressing. Light, yet filling, it makes for a perfect wholesome lunch.
Originally published July 4, 2014
A new post. Finally. Between moving from D.C. to Boston, breaking an arm, and working a full-time marketing job, finding the time to cook and blog has been, well, challenging. Excuses, excuses – I know. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Even though I’ve become a BOSS with my left hand (up for debate with my husband), I’m happy to have regained right arm mobility, especially for those essential knife skills. I can now wield a knife without danger of injuring myself further, chopping, slicing, and dicing veggies without fear to serve up this cleansing, nutrition packed power salad…which is more aptly titled, Triumphant Return Power Salad.
I have a different perspective on salads since shifting my lifestyle from meat-with-every-meal to vegetarian, transitioning vegan, soon after the move to Boston. I say “transitioning” because I’m taking the time to properly educate myself on vegan living while also being gluten-free. Vegan is a choice, gluten-free is not, and it’s important that I learn to balance the two in a healthy way. I didn’t do this my senior year of college when I first attempted a vegetarian lifestyle, and I ended up gaining 25 pounds.
I’m not assuming here that you care or should care about my dietary preferences and lifestyle, I simply want to set the new focus of this blog into context and engage in a dialogue with others who may be transitioning as well. Sharing is a start.
Now that meat is no longer part of the lifestyle, salads have been promoted from a mere side dish to full blown, spotlight shining, main event. Regardless, I still have an aversion to leafy salads, which I consider mostly filler, distracting from the fun part that is hidden somewhere between all the folds and curls of the leaves and greens. That “fun part” used to be focused on meat: Grilled flank steak, skewered shrimp, barbecued chicken, and seared scallops.
Now, the fun part is straight wholesome magic from Nature’s garden. Roasted sweet potatoes, farm fresh golden beets, steamed edamame, grilled corn and avocado, and Old Bay seasoned cauliflower.
This entire vegan power salad is the fun part, filled to the brim with shredded Brussels sprouts, julienned carrots, chopped bell pepper, diced tomato, and minced scallions tossed with crunchy bean sprouts, broccoli florets, and hulled hemp seeds. If I had added purple cabbage, this salad would’ve been called Bowl of ROYGBIV. It’s filling without being heavy and can complement a variety of different dressings.
I adapted Oh She Glow’s Maple-Orange-Miso dressing for this vegan power salad, adjusting the ratios so the maple and orange are more bold, forward flavors against the mild miso. You can certainly get creative with the dressings. I imagine a sesame-ginger dressing, a peanut-based dressing, or an avocado vinaigrette would be wonderfully delicious with this salad. For a little something extra, top with a grilled avocado or tofu. Please let me know what you try, I would love to hear yummy variations!
- 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 2 medium on-the-vine tomatoes, diced
- 1½ cups broccoli florets
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp light or mild gluten-free miso
- 1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
- ½ tbsp tahini
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- ½ tbsp orange zest
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts and carrots. These can be purchased pre-shredded, or, shred the sprouts with a food processor and julienne the carrots yourself.
- Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, broccoli florets, and bean sprouts to the bowl. Toss with a spatula.
- In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Add half of the dressing to the salad mixture, and toss to coat. I have guests add additional dressing, if desired, to their salads once plated and served.
- Divide the salad into four bowls. Top each serving with 1 tbsp hemp seeds.
Recipe linked up at Marvelous Monday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Fridays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Best Recipes & DIY Projects, and I’m Lovin’ It Weekends. Check out these Link Love parties for recipe inspiration!