Spring is a funny time of year for food. We start to crave fresher flavours – salads, smoothies and more raw food, even if Mother Nature is telling us not to put away our winter clothes just yet. This salad speaks well to this awkward time of year. It is fresh yet hearty and full of raw, lush winter vegetables, allowing us to curb that spring time craving and still eat locally.
This combination of vegetables could be thinly sliced or grated to create more of a traditional coleslaw, but I like the chunkier dice and slice, which really makes for a juicier salad (I’m looking at you cabbage!). Not pictured – a sweet bartlett pear to bring out the sweetness in the vegetables, just dice it up and toss it with the rest.
These vegetables vary in colour and pigment, which means that we are getting a large variety of antioxidants from this salad. On top of that, we have the kale and cabbage, both being from the powerful cruciferous family, offering up their mighty I3c (Indole-3-carbinol), crushing cancer like it’s their job.
It needs to be properly dressed to come together. This dressing is tart and rich, and it compliments this salad very well. It’s creaminess comes from avocado and soaked cashews (instead of mayo/yoghurt), and it is where the fat comes from too, no need for refined oils (we’re all about whole fats whenever possible). Add as much garlic as you are comfortable with, if too much raw garlic makes you feel hung-over (anyone?), just add one small clove and some extra green onions.
One more note – I recommend that you over-zest your lemon, to include some pith. I know it goes against everything you may have learned in the culinary world, but there is a lot of good stuff in that bitter, white pith. Toss the zest with the salad instead of blending it with the dressing. Blending up the over-zested zest can make your dressing bitter, whereas tossing it with your salad will just add pops of interest.
This dressing makes about 500ml (2 cups) and I only used half of it on the salad. It’s really clean and flavourful, so I recommend you make the full amount and use the rest for either more salad later in the week or as a veggie dip. Either way, you will be making veggies quicker, tastier and easier to eat throughout the week, and therefore winning.
Serve this salad with some hemp hearts for extra protein and texture. Enjoy it as a meal, perhaps with some tempeh croutons, or if your winter seems far from over, pair with a warming stew or soup. It will make your insides feel freshly showered. For real.