Monday, 29 February 2016

Recipe Round Up: Salad Samurai

Salads are not what they used to be. I enjoy a big salad made up of whatever is lying around for lunch several times a week, and they are anything but boring. Boring salad makes me sad. Also hungry. If you are looking to take your salads to the next level, Terry Hope Romero has created Salad Samurai just for you! And for everyone else. This book is packed full or imaginative, delicious and filling salads that will have everyone wanting to eat their veggies. The book is divided into chapters by season, so I have listed what season each recipe belongs to. Some of the recipes also require that you make some other recipes from the Dressings or Toppings sections, so I have mentioned those recipes specifically, and have also noted which recipes are self-contained. Forget everything you thought you knew about salad, and dive in!

Blueberry Tamari Greens Bowl (Spring): This is a refreshing recipe. It makes 2 servings, but I scaled up for three people by using more baby spinach and big Lebanese cucumbers. This recipe has a simple tamari-based dressing, but does require two other recipes to be prepared for it - the 5-Spice Tamari Almonds (the recipe calls for 1 cup but I just used the entire recipe of almonds) and Ginger Beer Tofu. The almonds are delicious! I didn't chop them, I just left them whole because I was lazy. They would be great for snacking. I needed to give them an extra five minutes in the oven to get a good glaze on them. The tofu was okay, but I didn't get much of the ginger flavour coming through. Also needs much longer and higher temp in the oven for it to absorb all the marinade.
Rating: Salad :), Almonds :D, Tofu :|

Blueberry Tamari Greens Bowl

Asparagus Pad Thai Salad (Spring): This salad uses a fun mix of cooked Pad Thai noodles and raw ribbons of asparagus. The asparagus was really nice in this, and softened up in the lime-based shallot dressing. I doubled this recipe to serve four people, though I still used a single batch (500g) of the Lemongrass Tofu, which you will need to make in advance. The lemongrass tofu has quite a lovely and sweet flavour, though the lemongrass could have been a bit stronger.
Rating: Salad :), Tofu :)

Asparagus Pad Thai Salad

Couscous with Snap Peas and Za'atar Dressing (Spring): Israeli couscous is fun to eat. In this salad, the soft and chewy balls mix with crunchy radish and snap peas, plus soft chickpeas (which were meant to be chopped but I did not because lazy). The za'atar dressing is a delightful flavour with everything in the bowl. I did use chopped dried apricots instead of figs in this recipe, because I am not a fig fan, and it was great. This salad does not need any additional recipes prepared in advance.
Rating: :)

Couscous with Snap Peas and Za'Atar Dressing

Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad (Summer): This yummy and very green salad is a great twist on the regular potato salad. I roasted the cauliflower in little pieces, rather than grilling and then cutting it. As well as cauliflower and potato, peas are also included (I love peas), and it is all coated in a basil pesto dressing that is very quick to put together. Great for a summer gathering! This recipe doesn't require any other recipes to be prepared in advance.
Rating: :)

Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad

Avocado Amaranth Bhel Puri Chaat (Summer): The amaranth part of this recipe involves popping raw amaranth in a pot, and I completely failed at this. It pretty much just burnt, with a couple of little pops, so I just left that out all together. The tamarind and maple vinegarette was quite acidic, even when I served over baby spinach (my own addition). The salad itself is made up of a yummy combination of cashews, avocado, black beans, mango, tomato and coriander with bhel puri mix... my mix had cashews and peanuts in it because it was the only one I could find. I left out the onion. This salad goes soggy quickly, so you should eat as soon as possible! I did have some leftovers, and though they were soggy they still tasted OK, and I served it with some rice which helped balance out the acidity. This recipe says it serves 3-4, but it was really two big servings. You don't need to prepare any recipes in advance for this salad.
Rating: :)

Avocado Amaranth Bhel Puri Chaat

Miso Edamame Succotash Salad (Summer): This salad is amazing! It is sweet and crunchy and creamy and salty, with a great texture! Edamame, snow peas (the recipe called for snap peas, but I couldn't find any), tinned butter beans, corn and celery. I couldn't find any shiso leaves, so I left them out. I also left out the raw onion. The Marvelous Miso Dressing is made in advance, but comes together quickly and is very yummy.
Rating: Salad :D, Dressing :)

Miso Edamame Succotash Salad

Backyard Buffalo Ranch Caesar Salad (Summer): I got 3-4 servings from this salad, rather than 2-3. The slaw is cabbage, carrot and celery, which is quick to shred and put together. You need to make three other recipes for this salad. The Back at the Ranch dressing is a simple and creamy cashew based dressing (I used parsley, dill and chives as the herbs). I made the Red-Hot Saucy Tofu into Very Mild Heat Tofu. Instead of using 3 TBS of hot sauce, I used 1 TBS of hot sauce (Franks) and 2 TBS of V8 juice. It was tasty and mild, just as I like it! Finally, you need to make some Classic Croutons, which are quick and tasty and nice and crunchy. Put together, you get a very nice salad. The leftovers are lovely in a wrap!
Rating: Salad :), Dressing :), Tofu :), Croutons :)

Backyard Buffalo Ranch Caesar Salad

BBQ Tempeh 'N' Dilly Slaw Bowl (Summer): This is a pretty fun salad. The BBQ tempeh comes together quickly in a frying pan (I used maple syrup as the sweetener option in the sauce). For the slaw I used red cabbage and left out the raw onion. I like this salad because it has lots of dill - half a cup in fact. I can never have too much dill! The salad is tossed with the Back at the Ranch dressing, and it is topped with BBQ potato chips. I couldn't find any vegan BBQ potato chips, so I used BBQ pringles. I think it would be better with a sturdier chip. I got trhee servings out of this salad (rather than two) and served it over some baby spinach as well.
Rating: Salad :)

BBQ Tempeh 'N' Dilly Slaw Bowl

Broccoli Peanut Lemongrass Rice Salad (Autumn): This salad is delicious! You get big servings, but they are not too heavy. You can definitely eat a whole serving without feeling heavy afterwards. The lemongrass and shallot dressing is fantastic! I used black rice in this salad. I also added the optional That 70's Tofu (250g worth), which is a classic and tofu marinade including aple cider vinegar and tamari. Yum! I was lazy and used garlic powder rather than crushed garlic in the marinade.
Rating: Salad :D, Tofu :)

Broccoli Peanut Lemongrass Rice Salad

Smokehouse Chickpeas & Greens Salad (Autumn): This is another delicious salad. The chickpeas come together quickly in a frying pan and are delicious, they taste so good! Make them and snack on them or add them to everything! I was eating this salad alone, so I halved most of the rest of the ingredients and enjoyed a lot of chickpeas (I snacked on the extra). The salad has baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrot and avocado. I left out the raw onion. This salad does not require any other recipes to be prepared in advance.
Rating: :D

Smokehouse Chickpeas 'n' Greens Salad

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Three kitties sunning themselves

Flashback photos to three kitties sunning themselves. Dim Sim, our sadly departed Possum, and Sahara.


  1. Those salads all look SO delicious!

  2. Wow, all those salads are drool inducing! I need to get my hands on another copy of that book, like now! I love the kitty pictures!

  3. Yum! That's not a roundup, that's a full on muster!!

  4. Yum! That's not a roundup, that's a full on muster!!

  5. The smokehouse chickpea salad is a favorite of mine too! So is the Pizza salad - have you tried that one yet?

    1. Yes, the pizza salad is great! I love that one.

  6. Yay!!! Loving Salad Samurai right now. That bhel puri salad was the first thing I noticed when I got the book a few seasons ago, but I wanted to wait until summer to make it. And then I forgot. I need to write that down so I don't forget this summer! LOVE BHEL PURI. But I do worry that I'd burn the amaranth too. My amaranth popping skills leave much to be desired.

    1. Perhaps just buy the pre-popped amaranth. That is what I will be doing in the future. ;)

  7. Shiso leaves? I've never heard of that. Salad Samurai is definitely one of my favorite books right now, one that I want to eventually test thoroughly. The thing is, I keep making the Sesame in the Dojo salad. Have you tried it?

    The dilly slaw bowl is very good! I brought it to the beach and to a potluck last summer.

  8. The chickpeas & greens salad looks delicious & simple; sounds like a good call about leaving out the raw onion! Cute sunshine kitties! :)

  9. I love your round ups. You always manage to include loads of stuff I've not tried! I thought I'd made quite a bit from this book but the only one I've done from this post is the smokehouse chickpeas. I definitely want to make some of the others now!

    1. I love reading other peoples' round ups of cookbooks, because they always tend to have made things I haven't made. Gives me more inspiration!

  10. I checked this book out of my library and I there are so many yummy looking things. The only complaint I have with Terry Hope Romero is that she does call for exotic ingredients that most people don't have access to like shiso leaves. I got this book for my Mom and my sister loved it so much she bought it for herself. Her favorite recipe is the Samosa Potato Salad. She said the book is worth price for that recipe alone.

    1. She is quite specific in some of her ingredients. It is similar in Vegan Eats World as well.

    2. I kind-of get why in Vegan Eats World since they are region specific, and it really hits home if you use the right ingredients for a dish you are trying to recreate from a restaurant. But I know they can still be hard to find for most people.

  11. Woah! I like the sound of a salad cookbook! Sadly, it has a lot of soy for my taste - but so many creative ways to eat salad.
    I really like the look of the Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad. It's so green & pretty.
    And the roasted chickpea one too - I still haven't got around to trying roasted chickpeas, I really should do this!
    "It pretty much just burnt, with a couple of little pops, so I just left that out all together."
    Ah... that sounds like something I would do ;)
    Glad the salad turned out ok anyway.