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3 Spectacular Spring Salads

Who said salad has to be boring? Not only are these recipes quick and easy to prepare, they also pack a huge nutritional punch.

Broccoli Salad With Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

broccoli_apple_salad
Ingredients:
4 cups broccoli florets
1 apple, diced
1 carrot, shredded or cut into matchsticks
Handful of dried cranberries
3 Tbsp. of raw pumpkin seeds

Orange Hemp Seed Dressing
½ cup freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice
½ avocado
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tsp. maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.

Method:
Place the broccoli florets in a bowl. Mix in the shredded carrot and diced apple. Pour in dressing, mixing well. Toss in the pumpkin seeds, cranberries and hemp seeds. Serve chilled.

Dairy-Free Sweet Potato Salad
sweet_pot_salad

Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed, boiled and cooled
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
Handful of raw pumpkin seeds
1 large scoop of *dairy-free mayo (or enough to cover the salad)

Method:
Peel the sweet potato and chop into bite sized cubes. Boil until tender (about 8 minutes), then cool.
In a bowl, combine sweet potatoes, green onions and one scoop of avocado mayo, mixing gently.
Toss with pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds. Chill before serving.

* Dairy-Free Mayonnaise
There are two versions of the homemade dairy-free mayonnaise that can be used in this recipe. One uses avocado, and the other is made with organic tofu.
Alternatively, if you are short on time, you can also use a product called Vegenaise. I recommend the organic version, which uses 100% certified organic, non GMO ingredients. Vegenaise can be found in the organic or natural section of many large chain grocery stores, or health food stores.

Homemade Avocado Mayonnaise
½ avocado
Juice from half a lemon
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sweet paprika
Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, or mix thoroughly in a bowl. Any extra can be used as a dip for snacking on vegetable sticks.

Tofu Mayonnaise
½ cup of soft organic tofu
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Process all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Purple Cabbage Quinoa Salad
quinoa

Ingredients:
½ cup of dry, uncooked quinoa (makes 2 cups cooked)
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, diced
1 carrot, shredded
½ head purple cabbage, chopped or shredded
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Small handful of parsley, chopped
¼ red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or ¼ tsp. garlic powder
Handful of alfalfa sprouts

Dressing
½ avocado (or 3 Tbsp. of cold pressed, virgin olive oil)
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. of maple syrup
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Add all ingredients to a food processor, or mix well in a bowl.

Method:
Cook quinoa and allow to cool (see cooking tip below).
Prepare all ingredients and add to a large bowl. Toss in the chilled quinoa, mix in the dressing and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to blend together.

*Quinoa Cooking Tips
Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes, turn heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Chill before adding to the salad.

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