Here’s a quick and healthy vegan recipe for one of my favorite salads. It’s great for lunch on its own, or as an appetizer before a soup or lighter meal. Instead of quinoa, you can use other grains like couscous or bulgar, or use the dressing, avocado and tomato on fresh greens, like spinach or arugula.
This is a fun salad that I came up with sometime last year. The inspiration comes from salads I’ve had at restaurants and homes across Europe, especially in Germany and France. I’d seen endives (chicory) prior to moving to Europe over ten years ago, but they seem to be much more popular and celebrated on this side of the Atlantic. That said, I have had some great endive salads in Montreal, too.
This is an all-raw variation on one of my favorite, traditional Indian snacks — roasted chickpeas. Actually, my earliest memory of roasted chickpeas is having them served as part of breakfast at the Hare Krishna temple in Philly in the early 90s.
Years later, when I really got into raw foods, I was sprouting just about everything I could find. I’ve experimented a lot with sprouted chickpea houmous and I love chickpea sprouts in salads. That said, they’re not for everyone. Try it and see if you like the fresh, raw, nuttier flavor. On their own they taste a bit weird, but the ginger and lemon and pinch of spices brings out a nice, zippy flavor to go with the crunch. Earth-crunchy, that is.
Guacamole is simple, wholesome, refreshing and delicious. Everyone has their own unique recipe. I debated about posting my own online, but I’m such a fan of guacamole… and it’s naturally vegan (unless you do something silly like add mayo to it – ick!) and all raw. So, I decided to write up this post to celebrate guacamole, avocados, and raw food in general. It also gave me an excuse to practice more food styling and play with some new serving dishes. I know, how domestic of me.
Guacamole is very well-known in North America, due in no small part to the proximity and popularity of Mexican and Latin American food – much of which can be made vegan quite easily. Guac is also one of those things, like hummus and other dips that shows up all the time at buffets and picnics.
Despite loving the versatility and flavor of vegan cooking, I try to eat a lot of raw food. Depending on the season it’s usually about 30-50% of my daily food intake. In the summer, and when I’m traveling in warm climates (where safe-to-eat raw fruit and vegetables can be found) it’s even more.
I try to plan a one-day fast every month to let my system detox and have a day off. I work with juices, tea, and raw snacks and simple things on the pre- and post-fasting days, to ease my digestive system into and out of the fast. Sprouts, salads, raw fruits and vegetables, and raw snacks like this work well not just for the fasting transition, but also to accompany cooked dishes.
Perhaps another time I’ll explore in more depth the topics of juicing and fasting, but for now, let’s get right to that awesome guacamole recipe.