When the weather gets cold I start craving potatoes and pasta and all the heavy comfort foods. With Thanksgiving just around the corner it’s time to buckle down and be intentional about eating fresh, raw food. It’s so much easier in the summer when veggies are in abundance and I can eat a whole meal while standing in the garden. My winter garden is still getting started so this time in between takes more effort, planning and commitment.
Fortunately, I made this deliciously filling, winter vegetable salad today and it really gave me a boost. I went out to the garden and picked about 7 leaves of curly green kale and purchased the rest of the ingredients since mine aren’t ready yet.
This salad uses the best of the colorful, winter veggies; red cabbage, kale and carrots. The red bell pepper adds another pop of color and flavor, even though it’s not in season here in the northwest right now. This salad also has fresh cilantro and green onion which really pack a punch!
Cashews and sesame seeds provide the protein and the ginger dressing pulls it all together. Give it a try and tell me what you think!
1 bunch of kale, any variety, stems removed, leaves chopped
¼ head of red cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, peeled and grated
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup raw cashews
½ cup raw sesame seeds
6 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely
1 clove of garlic, grated finely
Salt to taste
Clean all of the vegetables and set aside.
Place the chopped kale into a large bowl and drizzle with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Gently massage the oil into the kale with your hands until the leaves start to tenderize and darken in color.
Shred the cabbage and toss into the bowl with the kale. Grate the carrots using a food processor, mandolin or cheese grater. Add the carrots to the bowl.
Next, chop the bell pepper, onions and cilantro and throw them in too. Gently toss all the veggies together and set aside.
Add the raw cashews to a non-stick skillet and heat them gently over medium heat. Frequently shake the pan to scoot the cashews around so they don’t burn. Toss and scoot until most of the nuts have started to brown and become fragrant. Then remove them from the heat and place in a bowl to cool. Add the sesame seeds to the skillet and repeat. *You can also use the nuts and seeds in their raw form.
Now for the dressing!
Add the oil, vinegar and maple syrup to a jar with a lid.
Using a citrus grater, grate the peeled ginger into a very fine consistency. Place the grated ginger and as much juice as possible into the jar with the oil and vinegar.
Next, grate the garlic the same way and add it to the jar with a dash of salt. Place the lid on the jar and shake it vigorously. Open the jar and taste the dressing. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. Once the flavor matches your taste, pour the dressing over the salad and give it another toss.
Once the cashews and sesame seeds have cooled, add them into the bowl as well. Toss again and serve!
Note: The dressing will improve in flavor if it sits in the jar in the fridge overnight. The vinegar will pull the juices out of the ginger and garlic and really brighten up. This salad would do well prepared a day in advance. Wait to add the cashews and sesame seeds until you’re ready to serve so they stay firm and fresh.
I hope you enjoy this colorful and delicious salad!