Today I’m sharing a recipe for vegan 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.
UPDATE: This recipe has been approved by Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org for his directory of healthy plant-based vegan recipes!
I 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:
The 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.
Winter 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!
Wondering what I made for last year’s potluck? Here’s a link to my VVP 2013 contribution – Classic Russian Borscht, veganized!
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.
- 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)
- ½ cup 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
- 8-10 red lettuce leaves
- Lemon or lime wedges
- 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.
- Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing, mix it in until uniform. Taste and adjust flavors if needed.
- 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!
- 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.
This post was originally a part of 2014 Virtual Vegan Potluck party. See the list of all blogs that participated over here.
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