Sick of your staple salad? Or even better – feel like no matter what you do, you can’t make a good salad? I remember growing up and thinking that salad bars always sucked – because the salads that I would create with them were ALWAYS lame. Something along the lines of some mixed greens – whole cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Gross. Yes, gets my greens in, but is it a filling and delicious way to get nutrition on my plate? Absolutely not.
Since becoming Plant-Based, I have been able to master the art of creating salads. With a simple how to guide, I have set a pretty high salad standard for myself. My favorites include Asian salads, Winter Harvest salads, Fresh spring vegetable salads – with a PLETHORA of amazing dressings that are all oil free. This salad, is my go-to meal prep salad where I will make the ingredients I want to put in the salad ahead of time, and create an “in-fridge” salad bar every day! So easy, and super super good.
Ingredients: (Enough for 3-4 salads)
-1 cup dry quinoa, farro, or wild rice
– 1.5 cans of chick peas (~2 cups cooked)
-1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
-Leafy green of choice: I like massaged kale or mixed greens with this salad
-Frozen or Fresh Green peas – I usually out about 1.5-2 cups in the fridge ahead of time.
-1 large cucumber
-1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp chilli powder
-Black Pepper & Hemp Seeds to garnish
FOR THE DRESSING:
-1 tsp black pepper
-2 tbsp braggs coconut aminos
-1 tsp dried or fresh parsley
-juice of one lemon
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-1/3 cup tahini
-1 garlic clove – minced
-1 tsp dijon mustard
1. Cook the Grain
In an instant pot, I will usually prepare my grain. Depending on what type of grain I use – the cooking time usually depends. My go to to make sure that I get a perfectly chewy grain is to google “quinoa instant pot” and there are perfect guides for ratios and instant pot cooking times, stovetop cooking times and oven baking cook times. After the grain is cooked, chill in refrigerator.
2. Bake the Chickpeas
Rinse and drain the chickpeas if using canned – if not, follow instructions on dry chickpea bag. Save some of the liquid the chickpeas cook in / canned in – this is called aquafaba (Save 2 tbsp to use with pumpkin seeds). Mix together the chick peas, the pepper, garlic and aquafaba and put on a lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes until they look crispy on a preheated oven at 350 degrees.
3. Prepare the Pumpkin Seeds
Spread the pumpkin seeds out on a parchment lined baking sheet, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the seeds with a little bit of aquafaba, paprika and chilli powder. Bake for about 15 minutes until they are fragrant – careful not to burn.
4. Prepare the dressing
Combine all the ingredients to the dressing in a glass jar – whisking with a fork to combine well. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
To serve: Take about 2-5 cups of greens (if it is kale, make sure it is well massaged), 1/4 cucumber, 1/3 cup green peas, 1/3 cup chilled grain, 1/4 cup chilled chickpeas, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, and one chopped grapefruit. Garnish with Black Pepper, Hemp Seeds and Tahini Dressing to taste.