Zesty Spring Red Cabbage Salad + Ginger Tahini Dressing

5-6-13 zesty spring salad

When I go to a restaurant and see an “Asian Chicken Salad” on the menu, I get a little upset. I try to keep an open mind about the restaurant as I read through the rest of the menu, but the first impression usually leaves a mark.

Even in my non-vegan days, I was not one to order the “Asian Chicken Salad”. Perhaps I had too many bad ones and always felt them to be uninspired.  After many disappointing tastes, they always seemed like an afterthought on the menu – something that was thrown together as a “healthy option”. But they usually ended up being anything but healthy; dressed in a cup of oily soy vinaigrette, mixed in with dry green cabbage, or even worse, a pound of noodles.

Flipping through an issue of Bon Appetit, there it was again, staring at me – the Asian Chicken Salad. The recipe had a cute little story about indulging while traveling and hitting a healthy “restart button” with the salad when coming home, but again, the recipe did not captivate me.

So while picking up my weekly supply of produce from the co-op last week, I came across a beautiful red cabbage and a red spring onion, which instantly became my inspiration. I was immediately hungry for a little zing and zest in my lunch salad.

Their deep beautiful purples and greens just sing spring and vitality.

5-6-13 red onion

With deep purples and greens, this salad is just as tasty as it looks. Deep flavors from the red cabbage combine beautifully with the zest of the lime-tahini-jalapeno dressing. Water chestnuts, red onions, and peanuts have a little crunch, while the avocado adds a creamy finish. I decided to give myself a break from the mundane, and this salad was anything but boring.


5-6-13 zesty spring salad2

I ate my salad in silence, devouring every bite, right along this beautiful bouquet that Eric surprised me with last week. Same beautiful deep purples, pinks, and greens.

A very color-coordinated lunch.

5-6-13 Flowers

Zesty Spring Red Cabbage Salad + Ginger and Lime-Tahini Dressing

by Maria Bardet

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: salad entree vegan

Ingredients (1-2 salads)


    • 1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
    • 2 carrots julienned or shredded
    • 2 cups mixed greens
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 4 red radishes, sliced in thin rounds
    • 1 spring red onion, or scallions
    • 1/2 avocado, sliced and scooped
    • 1/4 cup water chestnuts (or jicama), pre-marinated in the dressing for 5 minutes


    • 2 Tbs Tahini Paste
    • 1/4 red chili pepper, jalapeno, or your favorite spicy pepper
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 3 Tbs Liquid Aminos
    • 2 dates
    • 1/8 – 1/4 cup of water

    Optional Toppings

    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
    • sprinkle of fresh peanuts
    • 1 Tbs sesame seeds


    Make the Dressing

    Add all dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, add all ingredients in a bowl (substitute dates for a Tbs of agave or honey because the dates would be hard to incorporate) and whisk.

    You will have leftover dressing.

    Marinade the water chestnuts or jicama in the dressing for at least five minutes, while chopping all the vegetables.

    Put it Together

    Chop all the veggies, add the chestnuts, drizzle the dressing and combine. Top with slices of avocado and sesame seeds or peanuts, if you wish.

    Save the rest of the dressing for later.

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    P.S. Happy belated Pilates Day! Here is a snapshot of two of my wonderful students, Megan and Misa, sipping on fresh juice cocktails in celebration after class!

    5-6-13 Pilates Day

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    One Comment

    1. Jedidiah Soliz
      Posted May 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Looks amazing Maria!! Especially the dressing, yum! I am going to have to try that this summer, as I plan to go mostly raw and will need as many great recipes as possible :)

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