I don’t usually post two days in a row, but I’ve had a busy week already in the kitchen and couldn’t wait to share these recipes: I LOVE a good salad! (Charlie even listed it as my favourite food on my Mother’s Day card, he knows me well).
I remember the first time that I went to France and ordered a salad. My mind was blown. The dressing was creamy but simple and absolutely perfect. Of course, I’m embarrassed to admit that was probably the first homemade salad dressing I had ever eaten (I grew up in the 80’s, need I say more). I’ve since realized how absolutely easy it is to make your own salad dressing, and haven’t gone back.
Now that spring is officially here I’m back on the salad train, and am completely inspired by the fresh ingredients in the stores and markets! Spring foods are so pretty and fresh, perfect for a salad! I’m not vegan, but many of my friends are, and new vegan versions of my favourite ingredients are making it so much easier for me to whip up dishes that we can all enjoy.
As a part of my mission I had the opportunity to experiment with the new Hellmann’s Vegan , and am so impressed! It is certified vegan (eggless), cholesterol free and made with non-GMO sourced ingredients. My husband (who is NOT vegan) tasted it and said he would use that instead of traditional mayo any day. That’s a solid win in our house!
I wanted to make a couple of new salads to break away from our go-to’s, and came up with these two that are colourful, filled with nutrition, packed with flavour and completely vegan. We eat first with our eyes, and these salads will be the star of the table, they’re so vibrant! The Hellmann’s Vegan  made it so easy to create perfectly creamy salad dressings like the ones below. Each salad serves approximately six people when served as a side and are best served immediately after you make them. I hope you love them as much as we do!
Spring Chopped Salad with Creamy French Dressing (vegan)
I used ‘candy cane’ beets in this recipe (I felt as though I won the lottery when I found them!), they are incredibly showy but if you can’t find them you can use any other type of beet.
- 1 bunch (12 medium stems) asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 c. sliced strawberries
- 1 medium beet, peeled and thinly sliced*
- ½ long English cucumber, sliced
- ¼ c. finely diced red onion
- 1 avocado, diced
- 4 c. spinach leaves
*I used a mandoline, but you can simply use a sharp chef’s knife
Creamy Vegan French Dressing:
- 1 large garlic clove (or 2 small), crushed
- Juice of 1 lemon (fresh only)
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Hellmann’s Vegan 
- 2/3 c. canola or olive oil
- Salt to taste
- To prepare the dressing, in a small but tall bowl (or large cup), whisk the garlic, lemon, dijon, sugar, white wine vinegar and Hellmann’s Vegan  together.
- Slowly add the oil while whisking until it is all mixed in. Add salt to taste (I just use a couple of pinches).
- Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until bright green but still crisp. Remove from the pot with tongs and submerge in an ice bath (large bowl filled with ice and water). Remove once cooled and place them on a dry clean dish towel or paper towel to dry.
- In a large serving bowl or platter with sides, layer the salad ingredients, starting with the spinach and randomly layering the other ingredients.
- Serve with the dressing and enjoy! Best if served immediately.
Apple Blueberry Broccoli Salad with Creamy Lemon Poppyseed Dressing (vegan)
The lemon zest in the dressing gives an additional lemony flavour kick that you normally wouldn’t find in a dressing: we loved it! However, you can leave it out if you don’t have a microplane for zesting.
- 6 c. broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces
- ½ c. toasted sliced almonds
- 1 c. cored and diced apple*
- 1 c. fresh blueberries
- ¼ c. finely diced red onion
*I use Ambrosia apples for this when you can as they resist browning
Creamy Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Dressing:
- ½ tsp. poppy seeds
- 2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2/3 c. Hellmann’s Vegan 
- 2 tsp. sugar**
- ½ tsp. grated lemon zest
- ¼ tsp. sea salt or to taste
**you can substitute honey if you aren’t making this vegan
- Blanch the broccoli florets for 5-10 seconds in boiling water and using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer them into a big bowl filled with ice and water (do NOT overcook them!). Once completely cooled, transfer them onto paper towel or a clean dish towel and pat them dry.
- In a mason jar or small bowl combine the salad dressing ingredients and whisk together.
- In a medium serving bowl, combine the broccoli along with the remaining salad ingredients and toss with the salad dressing.
Thank you to Hellman’s for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own.