It’s about this time every year that I start craving fresh vegetables. Between all the holiday food, football food, and generally heavy, slow cooked winter dishes, I need something light and fresh! Unfortunately a lot of fresh produce is out of season in February, so it’s hard to get that fresh flavor I crave affordably. So, I turned to my “hardy vegetables” this week and made a colorful, super crunchy chopped salad with a sweet and savory tahini based dressing. This Sweet Crunch Winter Salad is half salad, half slaw, and 100% deeelish!
Maple Tahini Dressing
If you like my Lemon Tahini Dressing from my Roasted Cauliflower Salad, you’ll probably like the Maple Tahini Dressing I made for this salad. It has the same base flavors, but I made it a little sweeter with the addition of a touch of maple syrup and I toned down the garlic by using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic cloves. If real maple syrup is out of your budget, you can substitute honey or agave syrup in its place, although maple has a wonderfully deep flavor that I love as a compliment to the tahini. I use maple syrup very sparingly and it lasts pretty much forever, so this is one of those ingredients where a high price tag can be justified.
Mix it Up!
I suggest mixing up the vegetables for this salad and keeping them undressed in your refrigerator all week, adding the dressing just before serving each day. All of these vegetables are super hardy and have a low water content, which makes them great for storage in the refrigerator. You can switch things up and add to this salad to make it more meal-worthy by adding something like fried tofu cubes, chopped grilled chicken, or maybe even some crumbled goat cheese. It’s pretty flexible! :)
How to Store Sweet Crunch Winter Salad
If you like your vegetables to stay extra crunchy, store the dressing separately from the vegetable, nut, and fruit mixture. I kind of like how the vegetables soften a bit, so I prefer to store mine already dressed. If you store the salad dressed, make sure to stir the salad well before serving the leftovers to redistribute the dressing and all the flavors. The refrigerated salad will stay good in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days undressed and about 3-4 days dressed.
Sweet Crunch Winter Salad
Maple Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini ($0.85)
- 1/4 cup water ($0.00)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.09)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup ($0.30)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.01)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- pinch cayenne pepper ($0.02)
- 3 cups chopped purple cabbage (1/2 lb) ($0.97)
- 3 cups finely chopped broccoli (1 large crown, .75 lbs) ($1.13)
- 1 large carrot, shredded ($0.36)
- 2 green onions, sliced ($0.25)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted) ($0.20)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries ($0.38)
- To prepare the dressing, combine the tahini, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne in a bowl or jar. Whisk the ingredients together, or place a lid on your jar and shake until incorporated. Set the dressing aside.
- Finely chop the cabbage and broccoli, then place them in a bowl. Peel and shred the carrot and slice the green onions. Add the carrots, green onion, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries to the bowl with the cabbage and broccoli. Stir until everything is evenly combined. This mixture can be refrigerated for 4-5 days, undressed.
- To serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad mixture and then stir until everything is well coated. You want to use a generous amount of dressing, making sure everything is liberally coated, similar to a coleslaw.
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How to Make Sweet Crunch Winter Salad – Step by Step Photos
Begin by preparing the Maple Tahini Dressing. In a bowl or jar combine 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Shake or whisk until the ingredients are incorporated, then set the dressing aside.
These are the vegetables I used for the salad. Because all of these vegetables have a fairly low water content, they hold up really well in the fridge (and have a great CRUNCH factor!). I only used half of that cabbage.
FINELY chop the cabbage and broccoli. That is key. They need to be chopped into very small pieces! You should have about 3 cups of each once chopped. Peel and shred the carrot, and slice two green onions. Add all of those to a large bowl along with 1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds and 1/3 cup dried cranberries.
Stir all of those ingredients together. This mixture can be refrigerated and kept for about 4-5 days, which makes this a great meal prep salad!
And then when you’re ready to serve, just plate it up and drizzle a generous amount of dressing over top! You really want a good amount of dressing on this one. With super crunchy, low moisture vegetables like this you need a liberal amount of dressing to help keep things moist. Plus it’s really yummy. Enjoy!