Adding salad dishes to your holiday table is a great way of incorporating raw and minimally processed vegetables to your diet. Uncooked foods maintain their nutrient profiles and their vibrant colours appeal to children and adults alike. There is no need to drench a healthy dish in an oil-heavy dressing. Instead, keep things light and fragrant by incorporating a variety of low carb veggies and making simple dressings from lemon juice, mustard, tahini or even blended corn for a creamier but light dressing.
Gone are the days when salad means a chunk of floppy old iceberg with a fridge-burnt tomato and a sorry old slice of cucumber. A good salad can easily be ramped up to a showstopper with just a minimal amount of effort put into slicing, grating, roasting and layering. Get children involved with washing, chopping and mixing ingredients and you can be sure they’ll sneak a few nibbles of the raw ingredients as they go
Here are 8 salad recipes you can prepare over Hannukah. Each could be a side dish as part of a meal, or the star of the show itself.
This salad is filled with winter vegetables. It has a crunch from the cucumber and fennel and sweetness from the beets and oranges. The maple-mustard salad dressing is delicious and oil free. Serve it over fresh green salad leaves for lunch or as a side, or with steamed kale or chard for a warm supper.
Cauliflower is naturally juicy, and boiling it is an effective method of pumping it full of excess moisture and removing all the flavour. Instead, here it is baked to a smokey deliciousness full of bite and depth. Served with spiced chickpeas and plenty of fresh herbs, this middle-eastern warm salad would make an ideal main dish, or accompaniment to simple steamed new potatoes.
I created this Beet Walnut Salad for Hanukkah after reading about the Georgian Jewish community recipes (Georgia the country, not the state in the USA) in Gil Mark’s cookbook, Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World. You can boil your own beets and dried chickpeas for this recipe, or use vacuum packed and canned versions if you’re short on time. If you like things sour, you could also use pickled beets.
Nothing says hearty, winter veg quite like a pumpkin. The good news is that cutting the oil in this recipe won’t cut the flavour, as the natural sugars in pumpkin turn to sweet sticky caramel in the oven. Rocket would make a peppery, light addition to this rich, earthy base.
Simple switches of white to whole grain carbs can massively increase the nutrient profiles of our meals, without any extra hassle. Brown rice has a nutty richness which pairs perfectly with the almonds and sweet, chewy dried cherries in this recipe.
If it was in a bowl you’d happily accept this as a salad. However, here it’s rolled into rice paper wraps. Packed full of raw, shredded and sliced veggies, along with strips of baked tofu for a satisfying meat-free protein punch. Prepare the fillings and dips in advance but keep the stuffing and rolling for the dinner table, for an interactive and fun meal children will love!
This is a classic staple in the Jewish Food Hero household. Children are often branded picky-eaters when it comes to salad, but really they just have a very understandable dislike for the texture of large soggy leaves. Grated carrot is sweet and easy to chew, making this dish a big hit with kids.
Who said fruits have to stay in the sweet course? The intense sweet-sour flavor of mango pairs perfectly with the creamy peanut dressing in this Asian-inspired recipe.
Your Turn: Please share your go-to salad recipes for every day and special occasions in the comments below!