JumBowl Salad

I eat a lot of salads -- big ones, loaded with fresh and cooked vegetables and homemade dressings. This may seem funny to those who re...

I eat a lot of salads -- big ones, loaded with fresh and cooked vegetables and homemade dressings. This may seem funny to those who read this blog as it must seem as if all I eat is healthier than average chocolate desserts. While I wish that were the case, its not and I really should share my salad recipes more often. 

I find that I eat versions of the same salads over and over, each time evolving the recipes slightly with new add-ins or dressings. These days my 'usual' dinner salad involves lots of grated colorful vegetables, torn raw kale and swiss chard, raw red onion, chopped organic olives and some protein packed seeds for good measure. I have been adding chia seeds to my salads for months but only recently started incorporating handfuls of raw pumpkin seeds. They really add a lovely crunchy texture to a salad -- not to mention a whopping serving of vegan protein, vitamins and minerals. I love that they are so nutty in flavor as well. To learn more about pumpkin seeds click here

Before I developed a tree-nut allergy a few years ago, I used to always top salads with cashews or pecans or walnuts. Adding nuts or seeds really makes a salad heftier for a summer meal or heartier on a winter's night. Not to mention, adding nuts or seeds adds a lovely savory flavor component to the greens. Before going mostly vegan, I used to eat goat cheese often and nuts really made a goat cheese salad sing. Especially toasted or caramelized nuts. I think this salad would be great with toasted pumpkin seeds as well, but today's recipe includes raw seeds only. If you would like a great maple pumpkin seed recipe, click here for two versions.

This particular salad is very good for you. Almost all of the ingredients (except for the dressing and olives) are totally raw -- leaving their nutrients and enzymes intact. All the ingredients are organic. The seeds in the salad are very high in protein and essential fatty acids. The chiogga beets are so pretty and are a great ingredient if you want to mildly detoxify your body or just want a jolt of energy. The fresh basil is packed with antioxidants, vitamin A and iron. The kale and swiss chard are loaded with vitamin K, calcium and more iron.

I named this salad my JumBowl Salad. Why? Well, it's huge and full of seemingly random ingredients, a jumble of ingredients to be exact. That being said, the mixture manages to find a delightful harmony of sweet, salty, savory and crunchy flavors in my massive bowl. The dressing may sound odd as well but mixed into the JumBowl Salad mix it really brings out the flavor of each ingredient. I think I really love this salad because as you chew it you get hit with all the different flavors -- a surprise in every bite.

Enjoy this salad as summer draws to a close and many of these ingredients won't be available for much longer!     

JumBowl Salad
Makes 1 large (for one person) or 2 small salads (for two people)
  • 2 small leaves green kale, or 1 large, rinsed and chopped small
  • 2 small leaves rainbow or green or red or yellow swiss chard, rinsed and chopped small
  • ½ English cucumber, rinsed and grated with a cheese grater
  • ½ chiogga beet, rinsed, peeled and grated with a cheese grater
  • 1 green zucchini, rinsed and grated with a cheese grater
  • 1 yellow summer squash (yellow zuchini), rinsed and grated with a cheese grater
  • ¼ red onion, chopped small
  • 6-8 organic black olives
  • handful fresh basil, rinsed in warm or hot water and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 handfuls raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 tbsp white or black chia seeds
  • 1 serving salad dressing of choice, or use the recipe below
Add the chopped kale, chopped swiss chard, chopped onion, half the chopped olives, half the pumpkin seeds and half the chia seeds to a large salad or soup bowl.
Add half your salad dressing, half the chopped olives and half the chopped basil and mix the ingredients in the bowl together thoroughly. Set aside.
Top the dressed greens with each of your grated vegetables by layering them. Top the grated vegetables with a sprinkle of the remaining chia seeds and pumpkin seeds, as well as the remaining basil and olives.
When ready to serve the salad, drizzle the remaining dressing over the top of the grated vegetables or if this is for a dinner party or guest, serve the remaining dressing in a small bowl on the side for the salad-eater to add themselves.

JumBowl Dressing

Makes dressing for 1 very large, or 2 small, salads
  • ½ lime, juice of
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or another flavored vinegar like sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar)
  • 1-2 tsp kelp flakes (or a dash of coarse sea salt)
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1-2 tsp organic ketchup (or another sweet ingredient like raw honey, maple or pear or apple butter)
  • 1 tsp black olive brine
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • dash cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cumin (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp evoo (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Use to dress salad or vegetables.

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