Alright, I’m going to throw it out there and say I think I’m bloody pretty amazing and making and putting together salads. I think it’s just something that came naturally.. it’s not a struggle for me and I very much enjoy a fresh, crunchy salad. As the only vegan in the family and what you’ll probably have gathered, I usually cook just for myself. But back in the day when I wasn’t a fully fledged vegan, my family used to always make me rustle up a ‘Sophie Salad’. Oh, I probably should mention that the rest of my family actually now use a Hello Fresh box weekly, therefore my speciality salad making skills are not usually needed. Yes a little sad, but I’ve gotten used to the candle lit dinner for one.. Just joking. But kind of not really.. I’m really not a loner like I’m making myself out to be here!

Salads get a bad rep. It seems a lot of veg does, I’ll never understand. Who said a salad just has to be leaves, tomatoes and cucumber. I mean could you be any more basic or unimaginative.. I think not. Don’t get me wrong, those ingredients are great, but why not jazz it up a little, chuck in some corn, beans, other greens, beets, a grain, nuts, seeds, mango, potato.. ANYTHING. Who said that there was some kind of rule that only certain things could be put in a salad. You can go crazy, literally crazy. Sometimes I think I take that took literal and chuck EVERYTHING in, making way too much but it’s good to take for lunch the next day, or save and pair with some potatoes and steamed greens in the evening.. if you follow me on snapchat (sophsgordon), you’ll know that my lazy day dinner or when I just want something quick and not in a recipe testing/creating mood. 

So like I said, you really can use anything. Fruits work amazingly in salads, adding something a little different and piling in those different textures with a grain like quinoa or even rice. The final touches to a salad; in my opinion, is the dressing. Now a good squeeze of lemon, a tad of salt and some cracked pepper does go a long way. It keeps it fresh and simple and allows all the flavours of the vegetables/fruits/anything and everything, to come through. But if you’re feeling a tad more creative, why not jazz it up and whizz up some fruit with some herbs/spices, or get some soy and sweet chilli sauce together and create a dressing like no other.

I think you get the point that I think I’m pretty bad ass (yes I used that phrase), at making salads and really do enjoy them. None of this vegans only eat salad crap, firstly yes we do eat them, but not only that and in abundance. Anyways.. the recipe awaits! 

What you’ll need: Serves 1 

For the salad:

1/2 large sweet potato 

1/3 head broccoli

Handful of green beans

1/2 can black beans

1 spring onion

1/2 cup or 1 whole corn

1/2 champagne mango

Handful of spinach

2 chestnut mushrooms (or any other of choice)

1/2 red pepper

4 cherry tomatoes

Small handful goji berries

1/3 cooked quinoa

Parsley

Mint

For the dressing:

1 lime – juiced and 1/2 zest

Small knob of ginger – grated

1 tbsp coconut aminos

1 tbsp soy/tamari

1 tbsp Sriracha or other chilli sauce 

1 tsp apple cider vinegar 

To serve:

Obligatory dollop of hummus

Spicy tomato sauce (recipe part of this post here)

Nutritional yeast

What to do:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Rinse your quinoa and follow packet instructions on how to cook if you are unsure.

2.You now want to pre steam (basically just before cooked as you’ll roast these after) your potato. Cut the sweet potato into cubes and place on a medium heat to steam. If you have a double layer steamer, after about 5 minutes you can add your broccoli and greens beans to steam.

3. Drain and rinse (well) you black beans and place in a bowl. Chop up your mushrooms and tomatoes, keeping family large. Put them on some grease proof paper, along with you steamed/almost cooked sweet potato chunks. Roast these for about 10-15 mins. 

4. Chop up the rest of your vegetables and place in the bowl with the beans. You can either boil your corn or have it raw, which ever is of preference. 

5. Prepare your dressing by putting all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisking up. You could also bung them into a small blender to combine. 

6. Your mushrooms, tomatoes and sweet potato should now be cook and also the quinoa. Drain the quinoa for any excess water and add the bowl along with the roasted goods.

7. Pour over your dressing (save a tad for the presentation drizzle OBVS) and toss together so that the dressing is evenly disputed and everything is covered. 

8. Served with some a little extra parsley, a dusting of nutritional yeast, some cracked pepper and salt if you desire. Drizzle the remaining dressing and dig in.

A salad of your wildest dreams. Perfect for these light summer evenings to enjoy outside (although this week has been a bit shabby) and enjoy every moment. I’m fully into using champagne mangoes and black beans in everything at the moment.. you’ve probably guess given the last few recipes. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as me. A fresh, insanely healthy, Summer inspired salad. 

Happy salad feasting!


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