Build a Perfect Salad
Somewhere in the land of virtual space there’s a woman smiling ecstatically at a heap of lettuce on a fork like it just told her the funniest joke she’s ever heard.
You find yourself feeling bored and and ripped off as you try to re-create this exhilarating experience while heaping up greens on a plate to utter failure. You wonder what the hell that particular salad did that made that woman’s day so magical.
Now I can’t promise that woman in the photo was enjoying a fresh plate of greens properly dressed with tahini mango dressing, but it’s highly suspect!I dare you to give savory salad a try, snap a selfie and lets see what we come up with!
Toss Some Ginger in Mango Dressing!
I feel like ginger is one of those garden goodies I just never give enough attention to. It’s my one true love on a sushi plate, but I all too often leave it lingering in the back of the fridge in my personal life!
Okay, if we’re being honest it probably has something to do with that seemingly bullet proof external layer (skin) ginger proudly wears quickly repelling many suiters that deters me.
The good news is, sliding a spoon across the outer skin of ginger quickly puts you in charge of the tricks!
The rewards are well worth the wee bit of time sacrificed learning to be a ginger carving ninja. Here’s what you’ll get when introducing ginger to your daily dishes:
- heaps of gingerol, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent
- Improves indigestion by spending up digestive process
- May be beneficial in reducing cholesterol
- Packed with vitamin C, B6, iron, zinc, and folate
Ginger is the perfect counterpart to this mango dressing because it provides a kick of flavor and a burst of ambitious nutrition!
The Roots of a Hearty Salad
I’m a little bit obsessed with beet roots since I figured out you can roast them to beet brilliance in place of boiling. While boiled beet can be yummy, I always disliked the bleeding nutrients left in the stir pot once they were complete.
As a child I just thought boiling these bad boys were the “beet rules.” It’s funny how tradition confuses and confines us like that!
I threw these spicy baked beets and garbanzo beans in the mix to contrast perfectly with the sweet kick of the mango dressing. And it worked oh so brilliantly!
Beets are a fabulous source of:
- Even a wee bit or iron and protein!
One really awesome fact about beets is they appear to increase performance by enhancing mitochondria efficiency! Mitochondrion are the energy power houses of cells. Plus did I mention beets are like… super tasty?
Tahini Seeds for Salad
One day my crazy hippie sister who loves a little too much Janis Joplin on a rainy day ran out of traditional food in my kitchen.She dropped some seed sauce onto some garden goodies and ever since then I MUST have tahini on every salad I create.
My sister and I have both been face free foodies for several decades! So sometimes we can get a little crazy throwing things together in the kitchen.
Today I had this wonky idea: What If I combined mangos AND tahini into my salad topping! It’s kinda like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Except ya know, without the actual sandwich. Or any of the other stuff. But in my wacky veggie brain its all the same!
Pack Salad With Herbs For Heaps of Nutrition
To start us off here, we’re going to toss in some garlic! Anyone who’s read any of my other blogs knows I’m a TOTAL garlic junkie!
If you don’t see garlic on the ingredients list it’s either because 1) forgot to add it, but you probably should! 2)The recipe’s for a bowl of cereal. Which of course I probably wouldn’t be outlining the procedures for on my blog! But hey, who knows what might show up after a night of one too many glasses of wine and recipe creation. If that’s the case case, revert back to explanation #1.
I could go on and on about the health benefits of garlic. Anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogen, packed with fiber in an iddy bitty package. There’s only one final word to be said about it. Garlic rocks. You should eat it.
So into the mango dressing potion it goes. It’s the perfect combination with ginger in this mango dressing as it excites the palette before being lulled a bit by its mango counterpart.
In my humble opinion, seeds simply just do not get enough attention. Further, it’s such a versatile food! Tahini(a bi-product of our friend the seed) can be used for everything from pasta to salads. A great combination with cookies or ice cream.
Tahini is basically roasted and ground sesame seeds. It has a nutty and robust flavor. Its key nutrients are good for
- Reducing free radicals in the body (ligands)
- Serving as an anti-inflammatory agent
- May act as an anti-carcinogen
- Potential improve liver and kidney function.
Overall, Tahini is awesome on a salad and as part of a well balanced diet. Scoop up this excellent source of protein while the getting is good!
Tahini is one of my favorite items for plant based shopping because it’s just so dang versatile! *steps of pedestal and moves on with the rest of the day.*
What Else Can you Use This Zesty Mango Dressing For?
I am absolutely loving the versatility of this mango dressing. Savory herbs, mixed with a bite of balsamic, a smidge of sweet mango, and heaps of ground sesame!
What could be better than tossing this on the remainder of our plant based snacking agenda this week?
Here are some amazing foods where I think this tahini mango dressing would fit best
- Fresh veggies such as snap peas or bell pepper
- In a stir fry
- On a rice cake
- In a pita
- Tucking in your favorite wrap
- French toast
- Veggie burgers
- Veggie tacos
- Plant Based Soups
There are really no rules when it comes to which foods will benefit from tahini mango dressing. And THAT is what I’m all about!
What's Your Favorite Vegan Salad Fixings?
There’s nothing that butters my biscuits more than when someone shouts out their favorite “salad dressings” like there’s some type of code that dictates the correct topping on greens.
In fact, the most frequent question I am used as a dietitian is “so what do I put on top of a salad if ranch and thousand island isn’t the best choice?”
To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I poured one of those strange concoctions that come out of a jar onto my salad! Eww! What a perfect opportunity to pass up flavor!
You can literally put ANYTHING on a salad! Tahini mango dressing is an awesome choice. But it doesn’t need to stop there! I’ve heard everything from salsa, to cottage cheese, to lemon and greek yogurt.
I beg of you, let me in on the secrets of your favorite salad toppings! List these in the comments below and help support my next greatest adventure!
Garden Greens With Tahini Mango Dressing
- 1 package spring greens
- 1 cup cherry tomato
- 1 whole avocado
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 2 medium beets sliced
- 2-4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 whole bell pepper
- 1 cup snap peas
- 4 tbsp goat cheese crumbled
Ginger Tahini Mango Dressing
- 1 cup olive oil
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 whole mango
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Slice beets. cut into halves. Spread beets and can of garbanzo beans onto parchment paper into single layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Spray garbanzo beans and beets. Add ground pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Add all salad ingredients to dish
- Top with goat cheese crumbles (or omit if vegan)
- Add all dressing ingredients to blender. blend, top salad, and enjoy!