Tag Archives: cold salad

Cranberry-Pecan Chickpea Salad

As a part of my job at Whole Foods, I’ve been making healthy recipes for my fellow team members.  So far, I’d say this one was the biggest hit.  My favorite comment was, “How did you get this to taste like chicken salad?”  Some of them actually didn’t believe there wasn’t chicken in this salad.

Cranberry-Pecan Chickpea Salad

I’m not against chicken salad.  Just love options.  This is a great vegetarian/vegan dish for those who need it, and something new for those wanting to spice up the kitchen.

I love this cold salad because it’s full of flavor, and also full of plant-based goodness.  It’s simple with a short ingredient list, it keeps well in the fridge, and will fill you up 🙂

I love serving this salad on romaine lettuce leaves or with whole grain crackers.  I hope you enjoy!

PS.  It’s got tahini in it, so you know it’s got to be my favorite 🙂

Cranberry-Pecan Chickpea Salad
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup pickles, chopped
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 5 T tahini
  • 2 T water
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • salt & pepper
  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and mash lightly with a fork.
  2. Add other ingredients and stir until combined.
  3. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over salad.
  4. Stir until combined.
  5. Chill salad for best taste!
  6. Enjoy!



Avocado-Dill Chickpea Salad

Avocado-Dill Chickpea Salad Final


The easiest way to maintain a clean eating lifestyle is to always have good eats in your fridge.  In the spring and summer months, for me, that means having an array of salad choices to pick from.

I love a green salad, but there sure is a benefit to having these pre-made salads ready in your refrigerator–it makes lunches or a quick dinner very simple.

On a typical summer week, I make two salad dressings and a few cold salads–and to make it easy, I pair them a bowl of fruit or some greens–and lunch is done!

This Avocado-Dill Chickpea Salad ranks at the top, along with some of my other favorite recipes:

1) Chilled Quinoa-Cranberry Salad

2) Clean “Tuna” Salad

3) Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

I hope you enjoy this light, flavorful salad!

Avocado-Dill Chickpea Salad
  • 2 15 oz cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 t coarse ground mustard
  • 1 T Vegenaise (or organic mayo)
  • 1.5 T fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and place on a kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the beans and pat the beans dry, using a rolling motion.
  2. When you pull the towel back, you'll see that the skins will be coming off the chickpeas. You can keep rolling the towel to get as many off as you can. You don't have to take the skins off, but it sure does make the salad much better!
  3. Place the skinned chickpeas in a bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the chickpeas, leaving some intact for texture.
  4. In a food processor, blend the avocado, mustards, and mayo together until smooth. Alternatively, you can mix in a bowl with a fork.
  5. Add avocado mixture to chickpeas and stir.
  6. Add dill and red onion and stir to combine.
  7. Add a large sprinkle of salt and a shake of fresh pepper and stir.
  8. Now for the fun part--taste the mixture and adjust if necessary. Sometimes I like more dill, or salt, or even mustard.
  9. Serve with toast, crackers, romaine lettuce, pickles, or fruit.


Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad


I know Brussels sprouts get a bad rap.  They’re kind of like spinach.  People just think “yuck” when they hear the words without giving them much chance.  But I’m here to set them free.

Surprisingly, I never tasted them until a few months ago (I’ve told y’all my journey has been SLOW!) when my awesome husband made me some roasted Brussels sprouts with a Honey-Sriracha sauce.  Totally blog worthy.  And it’s coming.

But until then, you can enjoy this beautiful fall-tasting salad and all its glory.  I hope it changes your mind on this little boogers, because they really are incredible!

This salad will keep well in the refrigerator well without getting soggy, although mine never lasted that long 🙂

Salad plate

I served this salad for dinner one night as a part of a “cold salad plate” with raw fruits & veggies.  On the plate were two of my all-time favorite salads, Vegan Tuna Salad & Cranberry-Quinoa Salad! You’ll also see this Buffalo Hummus on the plate too!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed & cut in half
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 6 T olive or grape seed oil
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 T maple syrup
  • 1 t coarse ground mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a food processor, shred the carrot and Brussels sprouts.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add all other salad ingredients and stir.
  4. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  5. Pour over salad and stir.
  6. Chill for best results.
  7. Enjoy!


Carrot Raisin Salad

I love this slightly sweet carrot raisin salad because it’s a change from the normal ole green one.  Sometimes you just need something new to change the routine, right?

I’m not a huge fan of store-bought versions, mainly because they taste more like sugar or mayo than food. But this one is sweetened with natural sweeteners like honey and fresh orange juice.


It’s great as a side for a sandwich or would make a nice dish for a summer pot-luck!

Enjoy 🙂

Carrot Raisin Salad
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 small green apple, grated (peel left on)
  • 2 T Vegenaise (see note)
  • 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted
  1. Put shredded carrots and grated apple in a medium sized bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix Vegenaise, honey, and orange juice.
  3. Drizzle dressing over carrot mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Add pecans and raisins.
  5. Mix until well combined.
  6. Refrigerate for about an hour to let mixture marinate.
  7. Serve cold and enjoy!
Use soy-free Vegenaise variety if necessary or you can use an organic mayo if you can eat eggs!


Chilled Quinoa-Cranberry Salad

Allergen Information: Contains tree nuts.

I have to admit that the first time I ate quinoa I almost spit it out.  It was just so, so weird to me because it kind of looked like rice, but tasted a little “nutty.”  Most of you are probably already beyond where I was when I started my journey.  I really didn’t want any food that wasn’t fried or didn’t have sugar as its first ingredient.

As my taste buds changed, I developed a wonderful place in my palate for quinoa and started appreciating it for its distinct properties.  It may look like rice, but it’s actually a seed (not a grain) and packed full of protein!

One of the best things about quinoa is its versatility.  It can be used in muffins, desserts, side dishes, main dishes, or even smoothies.  In this recipe, it plays the role of “chicken” in a chilled chicken salad-like salad.  This recipe tastes exactly as my family prefers it, but feel free to add more of whatever taste you prefer!

Read all the way down to the notes to read about Veganaise & pickles! I’m a “Duke’s” girl converted to Veganaise.  You know it’s good when a Southerner like me admits this 😉

Chilled Quinoa Cranberry Salad
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked & cooled
  • ½ cup + 2 T vegan mayo
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup dill pickles, chopped (see note)
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • ⅛ t freshly ground pepper
  1. In a small bowl, combine Veganaise, dijon mustard, salt, & pepper
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  3. Fold the Veganaise mixture into the quinoa mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Serve on your favorite gluten free or sprouted bread or with crackers!
1. Next time you are grocery shopping, check the label of your favorite pickles. Most traditional pickles have high fructose corn syrup and yellow dyes in them--all unnecessary ingredients for pickles. Buy organic pickles, and they will not only taste better but won't do bad things to your body!
2. If you have tree nut allergies in your household, simply leave out the almonds.