Yesterday we busted our butts doing some spring cleaning in our MESSY garage. A few hours in, I took a break and fixed us this delicious salad for lunch. It was a warm sunny day in our backyard and we sat on our patio steps and crushed these salads. No words were spoken. Just the sounds of our chomping & crunching mixed with several ooohs and ahhhs filled the backyard. You know a meal is good when you don't hear people talking.
Because our appetites were HUGE, I grilled some bread with olive oil, smothered it with avocado and topped it with some salad. This is totally the way to go!! The toasted sunflower seeds, crunchy sprouts, carrots and bell peppers were a match made in heaven. The dressing is made from a carrot juice reduction and has a very marginal amount of sesame oil in it. It's extremely healthy, totally vegan, slightly spicy and 100% satisfying on a warm Spring (or Summer) day. I can't believe I never thought to make a dressing out of stuff I juiced! My juicer is in for a real treat.
Happy Spring everyone!!
Start with your carrot juice. Boil it in a pot to reduce it. It takes about 15 minutes.
Toast the sunflower seeds in the oven.
Shred the carrots and thinly slice the bell pepper.
Get your sprout party ready!
Once the carrot juice reduces and cools, add it to the rest of the dressing ingredients.
Assemble the salad, making sure to evenly distribute the veggies. Top with the dressing and toasted nuts. Mix!
Now you have a plate full of yum. I sprinkled the plate with dressing to make it more playful.
The salad itself will brighten your day. Who needs sun?
Don't forget my tip with the avocado bruschetta.
A pile of the salad would be great tucked into a veggie burger too!
Spicy Sunflower Salad with Carrot Dressing
(recipe Sunset Magazine)
- 1 pt. fresh carrot juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha (Asian chili sauce) or 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 large orange or yellow bell pepper
- 6 ounces sunflower sprouts (1 1/2 qts. lightly packed) or 5 oz. mixed baby lettuces (2 qts.)
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed pea shoots or micro greens
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed mild or spicy sprouts such as clover or radish
- 1/3 cup long, fine shreds of carrot, preferably shredded with a mandoline (I used a potato peeler!)
1. Make dressing: In a wide, 3- to 4-qt. saucepan, boil carrot juice over medium-high heat, stirring often, until reduced to 1/4 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let cool. Whisk in remaining dressing ingredients.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Toast sunflower seeds in a shallow pan until light golden, shaking pan occasionally, 4 to 8 minutes. Let cool.
3. Trim off membrane and curved ends of bell pepper. Cut pepper lengthwise into very thin slices.
4. In a large bowl, use your hands to toss and separate all vegetables until evenly mixed. Pour seeds and dressing on top; mix gently. Season with salt to taste.
Note: Raw sprouts can occasionally contain bacteria that cause foodborne illness, so children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems should avoid eating them.