Vegan salad ! Why should your healthy lunch be boring. . .wanna skip the carrot, cucumber, broccoli and looking for something new?
This is a warm Fall / Winter salad containing grain, root, bean and nut salad. To keep things interesting a tiny gherkins and probiotic homemade pickled beet too makes a special appearance.
Everybody loves best alternatives :
Sweet potato – yams, purple or other potatoes, beet, butternut squash (cooking times may vary)
Edamame – Any fresh/ frozen bean of your choice like chick peas, green peas, corn, kidney beans
Quinoa – Couscous , amaranth, brown rice (cooking times may vary) cooked barley, cauliflower rice
Nuts – any nut of your choice, coconut would be a great addition – Use raw nuts to reap full benefits out of it. Roasted/ toasted nuts taste great no question about that.
Flavorings – Do not skip the flavoring oils or good fat in case you are not vegan. Because all the flavor comes from the tiny drizzle of oils and the trick is to add a little to the cooked bean while it is still warm so it absorbs all the flavors.
Anything Pickled – They add the much needed pop of color to the salad and keep things interesting.
Here is how to get the vegan salad right :
- Cook all the ingredients simultaneously.
- If using longer cooking fall vegetables do it before hand and keep just the baking or shallow frying part to be done just before serving. This way all the ingredients get ready at the same time and everything is at the right temperature.
- The nuts can be chopped up and added towards the end of cooking quinoa that way its soft yet slightly crunchy. OR added to the sweet potato while its finishing off the cooking to get crispy fried nuts
- Serve the salad warm instead of cold. The flavoring oil taste best on warm foods in my opinion.
- Ideal salad to serve during fall and winter months when you are running low on fresh greens.
Other VEGAN RECIPES to try – here
1. Spiced Sweet potato recipe –
- 4-5 Sweet potato small
- 1/2 1 tsp Chili powder or paprika (as per tolerance)
- 1/3 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Curry leaves – few or any fresh herb of your choice
- Cooking oil – as required for shallow frying Use non stick pan and least amt of oil
- 1 cup Quinoa : Mix of red and white (Instant variety used here) cook as per package instruction
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2- 1 cup Edamame (Frozen)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Flavorings – (Do not skip)
- 1-2 tsp Chili oil or Garlic oil -FOR VEGANS
- 1-2 tsp Ghee – FOR VEGETARIANS
- 8-10 Cashew nut (roasted or plain as per taste)
- 2-3 Mini sweet peppers different colors
- Pickled beet or Gerkins as per taste
- As 3 parts of the salad are cooked Do all three in different burners to save time
- Steam or boil the sweet potato until half done carefully peel off the skin and slice into thick rounds and marinate with powders given above in ingredients and keep aside for few minutes. (To save time do this ahead of time too)
- Shallow fry in batches in medium hot oil until both sides are brown and crisp in a low to medium heat. Finally cut curry leaves into bits fry that in remaining oil to crisp toss along with the fried sweet potatoes gently .OR Bake until both sides are brown n crisp.
- Meanwhile cook the Quinoa adding salt and pepper as per package instructions. Keep it covered and warm.
- Cook the edamame in enough waterto submerge (adding salt if required). Once soft remove from heat drain off all the water and some pepper powder and olive oil or flavoring oil of your chice and leave aside to cool down. (Heat ensures the bean absorbs all the flavors)Make sure the shape and skin is intact and not over cooked and mashed.
- Once all the ingredients are ready. Assemble everything in a each bowl. Drizzle the flavoring oil and serve immediately.Refrigerate leftovers makes ideal filling lunch box idea too.