Spring is here! What a glorious time of year. Everything is so fresh and green! After a long winter, what better way to celebrate than by bringing some of that green onto our plates?
Warm Vegan Asparagus and Tofu Salad
Simple and nutritious, this meal-sized salad is full of flavours and a good way to cook locally grown asparagus. This recipe is also ideal for people who don’t eat animal products, who have nut allergies or who are intolerant to gluten.
Preparation: 20 minutes
1 block of firm tofu*, cut into cubes
2 tbsps vegetable oil
2 cups of asparagus, cut into 2 cm pieces
5 oz arugula
1 ½ red bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp granulated garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil, then brown the tofu cubes.
- In a saucepan, cook the asparagus in boiling water for about 5 minutes, until they are bright green. Drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and garlic with a whisk, making sure the oil is well incorporated with the other ingredients. Add salt and pepper.
- Put all the food in a large bowl and mix well. Adjust the seasoning, then serve!
*Chef’s note: We use tofu with fine herbs.
Yellow Pepper, Edamame, and Snap Pea Salad with Creamy Japanese Dressing
This is a bring to work type salad that you can pack into a mason jar (or Tupperware). Creamy Wafu is a Japanese style dressing that’s available in grocery stores but can also easily be made at home! (The dressing used here is based on recipes from Genius Kitchen and Japanese Cooking 101.)
Prep time: 30 minutes
For the salad:
½ yellow pepper, cut into cubes
¼ cup green snap peas, cut into 2 or 3 pieces each
1 cup frozen shelled edamame*
1 grated carrot*
For the dressing:
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1–2 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup
Dash ground ginger
- Cook the shelled edamame according to the instructions on the package. Rinse in cold water to cool.
- Fill a big mason jar with equal parts yellow pepper, green snap peas, grated carrots, edamame, and pea shoots.
- In a bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients to combine and pour in an airtight container.
- When you’re ready to eat, pour the dressing onto the salad, shake it up, and dig in!
*Chef’s note: You can top the salad with chow mein noodles for added crunch.
**Cooking tip: To keep grated carrots from going brown, toss them with a dash of lemon juice before adding them to your salad mix.
Romaine and Blueberries with Almond Dressing
Craving a hearty, healthy fruit-based salad? This salad has it all: sweet, delicious berries paired with crunchy almonds and romaine lettuce, topped with creamy almond butter dressing. Since the dressing will need to cool a bit, we recommend preparing it first.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 10–20 minutes
For the dressing:
1/2 cup creamy almond butter
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
3/4 cup hot water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce*
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup pea shoots
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup tamari almonds, coarsely chopped
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. (You may need to add salt if the almond butter is unsalted*.)
- Set dressing aside to cool. (You can transfer to a container and plunge it in a cold water bath to speed up the process.)
- Place the lettuce in a bowl with the pea shoots and top with blueberries and tamari almonds.
- Once the dressing has cooled a bit, drizzle over salad and serve.
*For low sodium diets, choose a low-sodium soy sauce and unsalted almond butter and adjust seasoning if need be.
Strawberry Salad with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese
Strawberries are the earliest summer fruit, so we’re taking liberties here to celebrate spring by combining them with a maple–balsamic reduction. This sweet and savoury salad is perfect for a special weekday treat or to wow your weekend guests. As with the previous recipe, we recommend making the balsamic reduction first, as it will need time to cool.
Prep time: 40 minutes
For the dressing*:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad:
6 cups fresh mixed greens
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tbsp butter
1 cup crumbled blue cheese**
- Boil balsamic vinegar and maple syrup on low until reduced and thick. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a pan over low heat. Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.
- Once the reduction has cooled, place mixed greens in a large bowl. Add caramelized onions, strawberries, and blue cheese. Drizzle with reduction and extra virgin olive oil to taste, season with a bit of freshly grated salt and pepper and toss to serve.
*Chef’s note: To save time, you can pick up a bottle of maple–balsamic reduction in any fine grocery store.
**Cooking tip: If you find blue cheese a little overwhelming, this recipe also works great with soft un-ripened goat cheese.
Article updated on June 5, 2020.