Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad ‘Tacos’ with Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing – Virtual Vegan Potluck 2014

…Aaand the day of the Virtual Vegan Potluck 2014 has arrived! In case you don’t know what it’s all about, I’m here to help: the Virtual Vegan Potluck is an online event that unites lots and lots of food bloggers to link up to each other’s posts and form a long chain of delicious vegan recipes, from appetizers to beverages, entrees, desserts and so much more! My today’s recipe of Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad ‘Tacos’ falls under the Salads category. If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you’ll see buttons that you can click in order to move to the previous or following recipes in this recipe chain, and see a link to the list of all participating blogs.

UPDATE: This recipe has been approved by Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org for his directory of healthy plant-based vegan recipes!

Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad Tacos - vegan recipe approved by NutritionFacts.orgAs you can tell from the title of this post 😉 , today I’m sharing a recipe for Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad ‘Tacos’. The idea for this recipe was one of those accidental wonders that came from an unexpected source. A few weeks ago, I was talking to a coworker who raved about this local raw food meal delivery plan that him and his wife have been subscribing to for a few months now. While they don’t consider themselves vegan (they eat meat and dairy when they go out), my colleague was telling me about his elevated energy levels, clarity of mind, etc. I asked him about his favorite recipes, and he mentioned a few, including a simple broccoli-apple salad that their meal plan pairs with raw crackers.

I immediately started thinking of various ways to make this salad at home. I knew that raw crackers made in a dehydrator weren’t going to happen, so I decided to just layer scoops of this salad onto lettuce leaves – and this is what happened:

Broccoli Apple Winter Salad Tacos VVP 2014The main components of this salad are very simple – an apple, some red onions, and chopped broccoli florets. Since broccoli is chopped into small pieces, this is a good recipe to use some of the broccoli stalk that usually gets thrown away. The top parts of the stalk and the branches that hold each floret work best – the bottom of the stalk may be too hard.

As for the dressing, I decided to forgo raw cashews soaked in water that are so often used to make creamy vegan dressings: I don’t have to tell you (but I will anyway) that good raw cashews are quite pricey, plus they make my stomach act up. So instead of cashews I chose to use raw hulled pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with dietary iron and magnesium, in case you needed some convincing that this salad is healthy 🙂 . You can soak them in water for a few hours before blending, but I skipped that and wasn’t disappointed. A high-powered blender like a Vitamix would be best to yield the creamiest results, but I don’t have one, and my Cuisinart food processor did the job just fine.

Broccoli Apple Winter Salad in a bowlWinter is not usually the time of the year we eat lots of raw food dishes, so I named this salad Broccoli-Apple WINTER Salad to prove that the opposite is quite possible! I love that this recipe calls for the ingredients that can easily be found in most grocery stores in the winter. Another thing I love about this salad – it’s so versatile! You can easily assemble little lettuce ‘tacos’ and serve them as appetizers, or wrap some of this salad into a large tortilla with some lettuce to make a light but filling burrito. I also made a pita bread sandwich for my husband using this salad – no pictures here because he wolfed down that sandwich in no time! Pretty amazing for a man who didn’t eat broccoli at all only a year ago!

Broccoli Apple Winter Salad BurritoWondering what I made for last year’s potluck? Here’s a link to my VVP 2013 contribution – Classic Russian Borscht, veganized!

By the way, I’m currently running3 Journey Barsgiveaway of 6 vegan and gluten-free SAVORY nutrition bars by Journey Bar in flavors like Coconut Curry, Rosemary and Sesame Ginger! This giveaway will last until next Wednesday, December 17th – check out this post to see my review of the Journey Bars and to enter the giveaway (this link will open in a new window, so you won’t lose your potluck reading spot). Or click on the picture –>

Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad ‘Tacos’ with Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing

15 minutes

Yield: 8 - 10 'tacos'

Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad ‘Tacos’ with Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing

This light but filling salad calls for nutrient-dense (read: healthy) raw ingredients that are easy to find in most grocery stores in the winter. Serve this salad on top of red lettuce leaves to wow your guests at a holiday party, or scoop it into burritos or sandwiches for a quick lunch at work.

Ingredients

  • 2 c broccoli, florets and stems, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 c apple, chopped into ½-inch cubes (I used a Fuji apple)
  • ¼ c chopped red onion
  • 1 -2 Tbsp hulled sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • Pumpkin Seed Dressing:
  • ½ raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
  • ½ tsp garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch paprika
  • ½ c water
  • To serve:
  • 8-10 red lettuce leaves
  • Lemon or lime wedges

Instructions

    To make the dressing:
  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or a food processor and blend on high until a smooth paste forms, about 2-4 min. Scrape down the walls of the blender bowl if needed. If the mixture appears too thick, add 1-2 tbsp water. Taste and adjust the flavors, adding more lemon juice or seasoning if needed. Makes about 2/3 cup.
  2. To make the salad:
  3. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing, mix it in until uniform. Taste and adjust flavors if needed.
  4. To assemble the ‘tacos’:
  5. Arrange clean lettuce leaves on a platter. Top each leaf with a small scoop of the salad mixture. Serve with lemon or lime wedges to squeeze on top of each ‘taco’ if needed. Enjoy!
  6. Alternatively, this salad can be wrapped into a burrito using a large tortilla, served on top of a warmed pita bread, scooped into sandwiches, etc.
http://www.veganrunnereats.com/3339/broccoli-apple-winter-salad-tacos-virtual-vegan-potluck-2014/

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About Alina

Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Being vegan eventually opened her eyes on the issues of animal welfare, environmental protection, human rights and feminism. Alina hopes that her blog will help its readers on their path to making this world a better place.
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18 Responses to Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad ‘Tacos’ with Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing – Virtual Vegan Potluck 2014

  1. Megan says:

    Yum, these salad tacos look awesome!
    Megan recently posted…Fruity Sweet PotatoesMy Profile

    • Alina says:

      Will do Poppy, sorry it took me a while – my house has been out of power for 2 days after a bad windstorm, so I’m getting back online only now…

  2. Annie says:

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for being a part of the Potluck!
    Annie recently posted…Virtual Vegan Potluck! Maple & Thyme Potato-Beet-Sweet Potato Stacks (a.k.a. Pomme Annie’s)My Profile

  3. margaux says:

    YUM! Great combo – so keen to try this out 🙂
    margaux recently posted…Virtual Vegan Potluck! Lemon curd tiramisuMy Profile

  4. Emilie says:

    This looks amazing! I’m trying to incorporate more raw foods into my plant based diet and this looks like the perfect salad 😀

  5. Willow Moon says:

    I just want to give you and your website a big thank you. I entered a contest awhile back on your site, before I started my own website. It was here that I saw the Virtual Vegan Potluck button, and out of curiosity, checked it out. So, because of that button, I participated in the potluck as well. Thanks!

  6. Thanks for bringing these lovely tacos to the VVP!
    Keely @ Gormandize recently posted…Gin Thoke (Burmese Ginger Salad)My Profile

  7. Pingback: And Now – – the Virtual Vegan Potluck Winners! | Virtual Vegan Potluck

  8. Pingback: Tried and True Vegan Recipes Series #4 | Vegan Runner Eats

  9. Jennifer says:

    I don’t see a measuring amount for the raw pumpkin seeds in the dressing. Is it 1/2 cup?

    Thanks for a great looking recipe!

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