Monday, November 5, 2012

fall harvest salad ~ spicy sweet vinaigrette{gf}

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who says salads have to be boring?
i love a good salad chock full of seeds, fruits and nuts - Justin on the other hand is a classic salad guy. no fruits, no nuts, no seeds whatsoever, he prefers greens, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, carrots & peppers drenched in vegan ranch dressing.
a few weekends ago i prepared this salad for dinner with friends - it was quick, easy, tasty and prepared with local seasonal ingredients.
did you know that there is a fall raspberry - is anyone as super excited as i am to learn this? when i popped into picnic farm lauchie had walked in with a freshly picked flat of ruby red raspberries!
you bet they went right into my basket - and then straight into my belly and in this salad, they were amazing.

i love my salads to have a lot of texture - a bit of crunch, a hint of sweetness and a few spicy notes are what i look for in a really good & satisfying salad.
this salad hit all those marks.
almonds & pepitas give you the crunch, raspberries & sauteed apples pop in for a bit of welcome sweetness and a spicy sweet vinaigrette brings all the flavors together with a little heat.
our friends loved this salad - Justin enjoyed is classic veggie salad- in the end my loved ones were full and happy. in addition to this colorful salad we enjoyed roasted carrot & sweet dumpling squash bisque {recipe coming!}, veggie lasagna & homemade garlic bread. DSC08992.jpg
i may or may not serve this salad or a variation of it on thanksgiving day - i am still undecided.
when planning your menu for the holidays do you typically offer multiple courses, do you serve family style or buffet style? normally i serve a soup course, then family style for the remaining dinner and dessert buffet style- this method seems to work well for us, but i am curious how others serve their special holidays meals.
when having guests over for dinner and i find myself short on time in addition to cooking for non vegans my go to recipe is a veggie lasagna - familiar, tasty and can be made in advance.
do you have a fail safe dish that you rely on for impromptu dinners with friends?
what's your "safe" vegan dish that you make for first timers?
Fall Harvest Salad ~ Spicy Sweet Vinaigrette
serves 6 as a side

you will need:

sauteed apples:
2 apples- chopped
1 small jalapeno - diced
2 tsp butter
2 tsp pure maple syrup

6 cups mixed greens - rinsed and dried
1/4 cup pepitas
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup whole raw almonds - roughly chopped if desired

spicy sweet creamy vinaigrette:
1/4 cup veganaise
scant 1/4 cup apple cider (not vinegar)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
 few dashes of sriracha


over medium heat, in a saute pan add cored & chopped apples, diced jalapenos & butter, saute until softened but still holds shape- drizzle with maple syrup and continue to cook for about another minute or so. remove from heat and set aside.

in a serving bowl add greens, pepitas, raspberries & almonds.

to make the creamy vinaigrette, in a lidded/covered jar add all ingredients and shake well.

to serve, top the assembled salad with cooled apples and drizzle with creamy vinaigrette just prior to serving or allow guests to dress their own salads.

salad, apples and vinaigrette can be made a day in advance - store salad, apples & dressing separately, combine just prior to serving.



  1. Wow, it's so colourful! And I never knew there was an autumn raspberry, how exciting!! I don't suppose they're available in supermarkets, though?

  2. What a beautiful salad!! And you're right... there's no reason for salads to ever be boring! :)

  3. what a beautiful fall salad, heather! i love the idea of sauteed apple. this would be a great addition to thanksgiving. my family always does a buffet style.

  4. Your photos are gorgeous, your salad looks delicious! I never tried to add veganaise to any of my vinaigrettes. It must be delicious and creamy.

  5. Love this salad, it looks great! I wish I could have come over for your dinner party, because the whole menu sounds delicious. :)

  6. this is so gorgeous heather, i'm actually blown away! you're photography is just amazing and i love all the flavours you combined here :) so cool to learn there's a fall raspberry! i always learn so much about produce from you.

  7. I'm all over a good salad! But sadly, heads of lettuce (tiny ones, at that) have skyrocketed to $3.49/head around these parts! And I eat, like.. two heads for a meal. Guh.

    Also, goooooorgeous photos, woman ;)

  8. i am all over these pictures... the colors and your photography.. gorgeous. i might just keep gawking at the salad for a bunch of minutes before eating any. it is so pretty

  9. What nice photos to wake up to ;D
    The colours are so beautiful - well done miss Heather ;)

  10. A beautiful salad my friend with perfect flavours and presentation :D


  11. I'm definitely on your side with salads - my favourite salads have lots of things going on, including seeds, nuts and fruits! This salad is beautiful and would be such a nice addition to a Thanksgiving meal. We do ours buffet style too - everyone lines up to fill their plates in the kitchen, then sits down in the dining room to enjoy the food!

  12. Girl, I really need some set up and photography lessons from you.... Everything you make is seriously so beautiful. Love that you found autumn raspberries!

    I'm having a huge dilemma, I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year and was set on having an exclusively vegan meal, but many of my guests are not vegan and want turkey or ham. I'm certainly not going to prepare either of those and don't really want it in my house. I've turned into "that vegan" One guest said she would bring the meat. What would you do?

    1. Awww thanks Somer - I will make sure to look you up if I am ever in the area and you make sure to do the same if you are ever in NH!

      Personally the only time I have ever "allowed" something once living in the house was once when we ordered Chinese take out for Justin's Brother & Sister in was sushi.

      As for Thanksgiving, personally Justin and I wouldn't feel comfortable if someone brought over meat - all of our friends & family are very open minded and they know that when they come over they are going to get an all vegan meal and they actually look forward to it and have fun with it- good food is hard to argue against. If it were my family I would gently suggest that they save their turkey or ham for "home leftovers"- the point of Thanksgiving is to be with loved ones, they should respect your choice ( which I guess could say the same about their point of view) but this is how you choose to live, I am sure you would not refuse to go over to their house if they served a turkey but it is their home their choice - same goes for your home.

      Oh gosh I hope that doesn't sound long winded!

  13. Ohhh, raspberries, pepitas and apples, oh my goodness this sounds amazing. What an awesome sounding salad! And I love the sriracha ;)

  14. Mmmm! I love a salad loaded with fresh greens, fruit and nuts! And spicy dressing is a nice touch. Beautiful photos as always hun. *HUGS* I want to frame these for my wall!

  15. Healthy and delicious - what I aim to eat everyday. It doesn't always go that way, but if my creations look like this, I'd be so inspired to eat better! Your food styling is just splendid!

  16. Salads are the best choice to eat when any one is one diet and wants to loose weight.You give best ideas to make the Delicious food Which tasty to eat and good for health. As senior designer at colorado springs website design agency i have to pay more attention to work and i eat lots of Jung food . But Now i serious about my health.

  17. over medium heat, in a saute pan add cored & chopped apples, diced jalapenos & butter, saute until softened but still holds shape- drizzle with maple syrup and continue to cook for about another minute or so. remove from heat and set aside. buy lawn dresses online , pakistani lawn online shopping


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