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A rendition on one of my absolute favorites, Vegan Kitchen Sink Salad, which was originally inspired by the Abundant Harvest Salad I gorged on at Dandelion Communitea┬áCafe in Orlando, Florida. Make this huge salad at the beginning of the week and enjoy for quick lunches and last-minute dinners all week long. Not only is it vegan and chock full of vegetables and fiber, it is a great allergen-free dish. I usually make it with quinoa, but this time I experimented with millet, a gluten-free grain-like seed that is more commonly known as bird feed. Literally. We’re eating bird food. Feel skinny yet?

1 1/2 cups millet, prepared according to package’s directions, cooled
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a bias
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced in a bias
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 oz sprig mix, or other salad green
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Lemon tahini dressing, for drizzling (though I made a bigger batch, 1/2 cup tahini and 1/2 cup water, to accommodate this bigger recipe)
Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, to garnish, toasted or raw

1. Combine cooked millet with carrots, celery, broccoli, chick peas, corn kernels, spring mix, and tomatoes.
2. Drizzle with tahini dressing and garnish with seeds. (Leave the salad undressed and drizzle just before serving.)

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6 oz cauliflower florets
12 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on the size
1/2 hothouse cucumber, small dice or julienne (or both!)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh mint, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

1. Over a bowl, grate cauliflower florets using the large holes on a box grater.
2. Add tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, mint, and lemon zest to the bowl.
3. Combine lemon juice with tahini and stir, thinning with a couple tablespoons of water. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, and season with salt.
4. Pour dressing over the tabouli and stir to combine.

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1 15-oz can chickpeas
1/2 onion, rough chop
1/4 cup parsley, rough chop
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (can substitute with any flour, including chickpea or chickpea/fava, which makes it gluten-free)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil

1. Combine ingredients and pulse in a food processor until the chickpeas are chopped up but not pureed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to handle.
2. Form chickpea mixture into little patties and lay out on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet.
3. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the patties to the pan and pan-fry, about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy.
4. Drain patties on a paper towel.
5. Serve atop a salad of tomatoes, chopped romaine lettuce, and lemon tahini dressing. Or, serve on a platter as an appetizer, with lemon tahini dressing for dipping.

Notes: patties need more structure, more flour. Mixture was too wet, flavor was pretty good. Above quantities are rough estimates. Needs to be tested a couple more times.

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Now that you’ve made the Abundant Harvest Salad, you need a creamy, bright dressing to complement all of those beautiful flavors and textures. Enter, Lemon Tahini Dressing.

1/3 cup tahini
juice of 1 large lemon
3 scallions, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper, optional, to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine the tahini with 1/3 cup water and the lemon juice. Stir until smooth.
2. Add the scallions to the bowl and stir.
3. Season with salt and pepper, if using, to taste.

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A few weeks ago, I found myself in Orlando, Florida for a wedding. No, I didn’t go to Disney, and yes, I cried through the entire ceremony, and of course I danced. Ohhhh, did I dance. But I also had some fabulous vegetarian food at Dandelion Communitea Cafe. Not only was it delicious and satisfying, it was a revelation. I had one of the best salads I’ve enjoyed in a long time, and my S.S. had a killer Flutter Nutter sandwich, made with almond butter, homemade fluff and sliced bananas.

If you ever find yourself in the Orlando area, it is worth a special trip to the cafe. If you don’t, you can try my attempt at their salad, the Abundant Harvest:

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a bias
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced in a bias
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
corn kernels from 2 ears of corn
4 oz sprig mix, or other salad green
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
Pumpkin seeds, toasted, to garnish

1. Combine the carrots, celery, broccoli, chick peas, corn kernels, spring mix, and tomatoes.
2. Fold in the quinoa.
3. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.
4. Eat. And do me a favor–make this the main course. There’s a good deal of prep, and it’s glorious. It deserves to take center stage.

vegan kitchen sink salad

But wait! The dressing! Tune in tomorrow for my take on the Green Goddess dressing served with the Abundant Harvest at Dandelion Communitea Cafe (like what I did right there?).