March 21, 2010

Spicy Sunflower Salad with Carrot Dressing

sunflower sprout salad

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.

i made a little bruschetta

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.

fresh carrot juice!

Toast the sunflower seeds in the oven.


Shred the carrots and thinly slice the bell pepper.


Get your sprout party ready!

sprout party!!!!!

Once the carrot juice reduces and cools, add it to the rest of the dressing ingredients.

carrot dressing

Assemble the salad, making sure to evenly distribute the veggies. Top with the dressing and toasted nuts. Mix!

before getting dressed

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?

sunny salad day

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.

  • Michelle

    This sounds like a perfect light lunch. I have a feeling your juicer is going to get even busier. : )

  • Amanda

    I love sunflower seeds in my salad, I never thought to TOAST them!!

    This looks SUPER yummy!

  • Amanda

    I toasted the sunflower seeds on the avocado/tangerine salad I made last night WOW, love the flavor!

    Will check out the bread, sounds tasty.

  • hena tayeb

    perfect for summer.. and the colors are wonderful

  • Jenny Johnson

    Lordy!! That salad looks amazing! I have forwarded your site to a ton of my friends. Love checking out your recipes.


  • Tyler

    Quite impressive, I must say. Amazing presentation, wonderful photos, and a brilliant way to use that juicer – I drink carrot juice on a very regular basis, so this really appeals to me – and its something i never even considered!

    Thanks for broadening my horizons!

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