I say screw winter, I am having a salad despite the freezing temperatures outside and the idea of a warm steaming bowl of soup beckoning me on days like this. I want something chalked full of rich raw nutrients, regardless of what the weatherman says, yeah that’s right I refuse to let the winter hold me down.
So if perhaps you too are feeling the same sense of respite for the chilly weather and want to be a bold risk taker with me and leave the soup on the sidelines, then maybe you should give this salad a whirl. It is refreshingly summery, like a slap in winter’s cold and bitter face, yet still comforting enough not to be too offensive. Thin slices of fennel and juicy wedges of mandarin give their thanks to the winter, while the lettuce and endamame turn their back on it to make for an interesting mix. And not to be forgot is the amazing tofu feta from Vegan Sparkles (I realize there is not much in the photo, but that’s all I had left because it is so amazing, and of course ideas like cutting it into smaller pieces to create an optical illusion always occur to me afterwards). If you aren’t familiar with her blog I highly suggest you check it out, it is a beautiful site with wonderful recipes and great photos. To finish off our salad and marry all the flavors together is an Asian-like dressing with mint, prunes and lime.
I know, I am prepared that this may be all too radical for Northern hemisphere inhabitants, but if you feel you need some heat add in some of your favorite TVP, while for all of you lucky enough to be in the Southern Hemisphere, dig in and enjoy this on your sun soaked beach (feeling a twinge of jealousy as I type this).
Screw Winter Salad
lettuce of choice (I used a mix of what I had on hand)
fennel, thinly sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
pecans (I wanted to save on the calories, but if you’re not too bothered with that, then caramelized pecans with a bit of agave or maple syrup would be fabulous in this)
*optional winter induced need for warmth: TVP (I added in a soy cutlet)
Asian Mint Dressing
juice of 1 lime
zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
6-7 mint leaves
2 Tbs olive oil (or sesame oil if you prefer a stronger Asian taste)
salt to taste
a few slices of onion (my husband sneaked them in ;))
about 1/8 inch fresh ginger
1/3 cup water, more if you want it thinner
Blend all ingredients together and adjust seasoning if desired. Now all you have to do is toss all your salad ingredients together with the dressing, kick back on the couch and pretend you are on vacation in some warm tropical place.