the taste space

Spinach Salad with Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing and Pepitas

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on January 3, 2013

Spinach Salad with Carrot Miso Dressing and Pepitas

I have definitely noticed an improvement in my salads.

There are salads and then there are salads. And by the latter kind of salads, I mean meal-sized salads. Size alone does not make them appropriate for meals.

Leafy green salads used to have me perplexed. Growing up, a simple salad was usually always served before a meal, with lettuce, tomato and cucumber and a light vinaigrette. My penchant for one-pot meal-in-a-bowl dishes had me rethinking my views on traditional salad.

One of my goals last year was to simplify my kitchen, with a focus on sauces and dressings with fresh vegetables supported by beans and whole grains. My salad jar revolutionized my lunch meals.

Spinach Salad with Carrot Miso Dressing and Pepitas

So let’s just say I made lots of dressings last year and this is definitely one of my favourites: carrot miso. Using vegetables themselves in the dressing adds a body typically derived from oil. Since you puree the carrot, it is a thicker dressing than I am used to… more akin to a sauce.

Sadly, this salad didn’t really travel as well in my salad jar. Most likely because it didn’t have the vinegar heaviness found in most of my dressings. The vinegar essentially pickles the bottom layer of vegetables when packed in advance. In this case, I wound up adding the dressing right before serving.

A few years ago I made a different avocado salad with a carrot-ginger dressing. It was an appetizer, a starter to a potluck with friends. This time, I made this as my meal. I added lots of veggies like cucumber, tomatoes and grated carrots along with chickpeas for protein and avocado and pumpkin seeds for fat (and crunch!). The sweet tangy dressing brought it all together. In fact, I think this dressing was even better than the heavier carrot-ginger version I made earlier. I guess my taste buds are a changin’….

Spinach Salad with Carrot Miso Dressing and Pepitas

This is my submission to this month’s Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food for Substantial Salads and to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Green and Orange Salad
Inspired by Shutterbean

Baby spinach
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Carrot, grated
Orange (heirloom) tomatoes, chopped
Chickpeas (cooked)
Pumpkin seeds
Carrot Miso dressing (see below)

1. Toss all ingredients together.

Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing
Adapted from Choosing Raw

3 very large carrots (270g), coarsely chopped
2 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp low-sodium tamari
1 tbsp lemon juice
10g date paste (or dates, to taste)
1 inch ginger, peeled (5g)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
3/4 cup water

1. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Thin to your desired consistency. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, steam your carrots and soak your dates prior to blending.

Makes 1.5 cups.

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18 Responses

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  1. Ricki said, on January 3, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    How gorgeous–perfect pick-me-up for this grey weather! Definitely a “meal” salad. :) Hope you had a great New Year’s, Janet! :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 3, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Thanks Ricki! With this weather it is harder to get excited about salads when all I want is soup, but I like the variety with a salad like this… dressings are definitely key. Best wishes for the new year to you, too! :)

  2. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said, on January 3, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    I love a massive salad. And thick dressing are the best. They are more like an additional topping than a dressing!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      I like the way you put that, Laura… yes, the thick dressing is more like an additional topping! This way I still get to taste the veggies, too. :)

  3. Joanne said, on January 3, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    I think I was slightly traumatized by the same kind of salads you experienced growing up…I just can’t be satisfied with them unless they ahve a ton of fun mix-ins! This looks excellent though…and I love the dressing! Just like they serve in sushi restaurants. :)

  4. The Squishy Monster said, on January 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    I do enjoy a texturally interesting salad and love the spark of pepitas in this! Great greens =)

  5. I love lists, Friday! – Shutterbean said, on January 4, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    [...] Taste Space adapted my Super Spinach Salad. [...]

  6. Stanton Smith said, on January 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Going to try this tonight!

    Cheers!

  7. Hannah said, on January 4, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    That dressing sounds like it would be incredible as a dip, which helps me want it, because I’m one of those people who dislikes soggy slippery dressing-ed salad :P (For example, I’m currently eating a “salad” where the dressing is tapenade and flaxseed. Ugly, but gooood.)

  8. lawstudentcook said, on January 5, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    I love the idea of the dressings made from other vegetables. I’m going to need to experiment with this, because it seems like a brilliant idea.

  9. Deb in Hawaii said, on January 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Such a bright and pretty salad and it looks especially satisfying with the chickpeas and the creamy dressing. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week! ;-)

  10. Cara said, on January 7, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    I’ve always wanted to know how to make this dressing after tasting it in Japanese restaurants. Thank you!

  11. [...] I have another carrot dressing for you. (Another hummus recipe is in the queue, no worries). This no-oil carrot dressing is even [...]

  12. Catherine said, on January 21, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Janet, this looks amazing! I love the idea of adding veggies to your dressing. Thanks so much for joining the challenge!

    Catherine

  13. [...] Spinach Salad with Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing and Pepitas [...]

  14. [...] Choosing Raw, where she shares gorgeous food that is still down-to-earth, delicious and easy. I have made many of her recipes (there are too many to count, ok plus these, too), and I have bookmarked [...]


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