Welcome Spring Salad with Mango Dressing

Friday, April 19, 2013


Winter's wrath has begun to leave the Philadelphia area and I could not be happier.  I am finally able to give much needed love and attention to my yard, which was a little neglected by the previous owner.  I've spent almost all of my free time pulling out tremendously ugly plants, cutting very overgrown bushes, pulling out vine-weeds that tangled themselves all over the very overgrown bushes, and pulling up grass to extend the garden bed(aka the hardest thing in the world to do).  There is still about a million more things to do before I can relax and be happy.  But for now, I am trying to embrace and enjoy the time spent working to get my property the way I want it.  It's a bonding experience of sorts.

Another advantage of the warmer weather is trading in soups, stews, and stir-fries for gigantic salads.  As cliche as it may sound, I still love eating salads more than any other meal.  What I've learned over the years, though, is how to make them fun.  And when a salad is fun to eat, it makes it even more delicious and healthy at the same time.

The first trick to making a salad more fun is to first gather as many different vegetables as you can find and then chop them as small as possible.  That way, you get a little bit of everything with each bite.  I try to cut everything small enough to use a spoon, but sometimes my patience does not allow that much precision.  Secondly, I add as many "fun stuff" as possible. This provides the salad with different tastes and textures.  Some of my favorites include hearts of palm, olives, raisins, walnuts, chickpeas, mango, and roasted peppers.  Lastly, the salad is tossed very thoroughly before adding a delicious and healthful dressing and mixing again.  The ending result is my dinner of choice just about every night.  I love adding a hefty sprinkling of nutritional yeast to the top, then reapplying after I eat each layer.  No B-12 shortage in this little body.

I started using this particular salad dressing last summer when I read the book Thrive.  I love the idea of pureed fruit as the main component because it's delicious while still being very healthy at the same time.  (There's nothing worse than making a gigantic salad and then adding in a dressing full of oil and fat.  It kind of defeats the purpose, in my opinion.)  The ending result is a giant salad, but it's filling without being heavy.  And that is the perfect feeling to have when you go outside to trim overgrown bushes immediately following dinner.


Welcome Spring Salad
serves one as a meal, or more if sharing
2 large handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
1 inch slice of purple cabbage, chopped
1 c cauliflower, finely chopped
1 c broccoli, finely chopped
4 baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 slice red onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 mango, chopped
1/4 c chickpeas
1/4 c hearts of palm, chopped
1/4 c fire roasted red peppers(from a jar)
handful of walnuts, chopped
3 black olives, sliced
sprinkling of raisins
mango salad dressing, recipe below
nutritional yeast, to top

Combine all ingredients(except for dressing and nutritional yeast) in a large bowl(I use my largest mixing bowl) and toss until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.  Add salad dressing(about two large spoonfuls) and toss again until everything is  evenly coated.  Top with nutritional yeast.  Enjoy!

Mango Salad Dressing
adapted from Thrive
2 large mangoes, cut into cubes
1/4-1/2 jalapeno, chopped
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.

48 comments:

  1. This sounds so good. I am having a great craving for fresh salads.

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    1. it's SO good, eric! i'm in the midst of a craving myself.

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  2. Yummy Caitlin! I am with you - I adore fruit based dressings, and have yet to try a mango based one - it sounds fabulous!
    Enjoy your garden, the very best part of springtime in my opinion! xx

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    1. thanks, shira! fruit based dressings are the best.

      i'm starting to enjoy it now that i'm seing progress ;)

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  3. That mango dressing looks incredible! I love mango. So perfectly sweet and vibrant. I bet it would taste amazing int this salad. I love all of the fixings you've added. What a hearty, healthy salad. YUM! I am looking forward to spring. We are still getting lots of snow here :( Come on spring...hurry up!!! I'm getting cranky. lol

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    1. i love mango, too. i could eat it with just about anything.

      BOO for snow. sending you warming vibes ;)

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  4. That dressing sounds **amazeballs**. Need to get a mango stat!

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  5. That is one super awesome Salad.. so much goodness and so much Spring.. i heart everything mango. I agree with ya about not weighing down a good salad with heavy dressing. And i cant wait to get my own yard to bond with it too.. hopefully this year.. a house is waiting for us.. fingers crossed.

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    1. i hope you are able to find your dream home this year, richa! fingers crossed!

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  6. Sounds delicious! I love the addition of Mango in salads and bet it's even better as a dressing!

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  7. Wow, your salad really does have a bit of everything in it! I love salads where I get lots of different ingredients in every bite too, and I also tend to eat my salads with a spoon! Love this fruity mango dressing. I don't like oily dressings, so this sounds perfect for me!

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    1. yay for eating salads with spoons!

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  8. I am so glad that the winter is finally on the way out. What a great way to welcome the Spring.
    This salad is on my list of must tries!

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    1. i hope you love it, lovey. especially the dressing ;)

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  9. What a gorgeous and appetising salad! I'm so jealous of the coming of Spring in your world. We are heading into our Winter months here in Australia, and down in Melbourne where I live it gets bitingly cold. But no biting wind's gonna stop me enjoying the crunch and colour of a vibrant salad during this time of year! I just have to find me some mangoes!!

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    1. ugh winter is the worst... find some mangoes and pretend it's summer ;)

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  10. A gigantic salad is usually my meal of choice too. When I was a single gal, I ate one almost every night! And I agree- the more ingredients the better! :-) This salad looks wonderful and I love the mango dressing. Yum!

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    1. even now that i'm married, it's still my dinner of choice ;) i'm just OBSESSED.

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  11. We have the same salad-making strategy! I prefer to cut all of my fruits and vegetables in small chunks, so that every bite gets a mix of flavors. I hadn't thought about putting nutritional yeast on each layer as I eat it. Ingenious!

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    1. it totally is a strategy, isn't it? totally try the nooch, it's definitely the finishing touch.

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  12. Yum, this looks amazing and that salad dressing sounds delicious! I have some mangoes just waiting to be made into this dressing. Thanks for the recipe. :)

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    1. you're welcome, lady! i hope you enjoy it as much as i do ;)

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  13. I need more fun-salads in my life! The weather is getting chilly here, so I tend to ignore salads but really they are good all year round, esp. if as amazing as this one!

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    1. this salad is perfect for all types of weather! i hope your winter is a mild one, the cold was just so brutal for us this past year!

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  14. YEAH FOR GIGANTOR SALADS! i love this recipe, especially the dressing. i'm always looking for non-oily or fatty dressings to have around the house!

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    1. YAY! (i mean, YEH!) i feel the same way, lady ;)

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  15. I am just not big on salads, but you are so right, the fun stuff really helps. :) And this dressing sounds amazing--ooh, I am so going to have to try it!

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    1. i think you'll love the dressing, kiersten! mangoes for the win!

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  16. Absolute perfection - I love salads with smaller veggies and pieces, it makes it so much better to enjoy all the elements together without having to take a ginormous bite! Love the idea of using a pureed fruit as a base for dressing!

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  17. I could seriously go for a bowl of this right now... and by a bowl, I mean that one in the photo. All of it. That mango dressing sounds so good! I adore salads, and it feels like the moment the weather starts to look up I can't get enough of them. Yum!

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    1. i wish i could bring you my bowl, willow ;)

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  18. Just made this- not only I'm I really proud I went and did this, I am outrageously impressed by how good this salad tastes !!!! It's amazing ! Thank you!!

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    1. yay, alexandra! thank you for letting me know!

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  19. So fresh! So colorful! I'm not ashamed to admit that I do love salads and eat a big one almost every day for lunch. The more goodies, the better, and this looks absolutely delightful. All that variety in one bowl, plus it looks nice and substantial. Perfect!

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    1. thanks, hannah! i completely agree, i love all the goodies!

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  20. Coming from my trip to the Philippines, I've been missing some yellow mangoes (there are plenty there). I'll definitely try the mango dressing for my craving hehe

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    1. yes! i hope you try it, richgail!

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  21. I love salads and this one looks perfect!!!!

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  22. Where do you buy your nutritional yeast?

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    1. at whole foods or on vitacost! i get the kal brand.

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