Sep 13 2012

Raw Zucchini Salad w/Creamy Lemon & Dill Dressing

One of my dearest girlfriends recently decided to complete a 35 day juice cleanse, followed by transitioning to eating real food through a vegan diet. I was invited to her 40th birthday picnic on Treasure Island and wanted to make sure I brought something that she and her husband could enjoy – I decided on Raw Zucchini Pasta Salad w/Creamy Lemon & Dill Dressing.

I searched online and found Ashley’s recipe for Lemon Dill Pasta Salad on her blog Edible Perspective. I made ingredient changes – based on the fact that I knew there would already be a sweet potato lasagna at the picnic. I didn’t want to enter more noodles into the mix. I also subbed maple syrup for honey to make it vegan. I know not all vegan’s view honey as a “no” – and I wasn’t really sure what my newly vegan friend’s views were on the subject, so I just went with the syrup to be safe. I also changed a bunch of the measurements and have included them below.

Salad Ingredients:

4 Broccoli Crowns
1 Bunch Asparagus
3-4 Large Zucchini
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
1 Orange Bell Pepper
2 Cups Grape Tomatoes
1/2 Large Red Onion
3/4 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
3/4 Cup Raw Pepita Seeds

Lemon Dill Dressing Ingredients:

1 Large Avocado
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Dorat Garlic Cubes – defrosted  or you could use 2 cloves minced
1 Teaspoon Salt –  plus more if needed.
1 Cup Dill – loosely packed.
2/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice – might dial this back a bit next time.
1 1/2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
Black Pepper to taste – I used about 10-15 grinds, I like my pepper.

I purchased as many organic items as I could possibly find between 3 different stores. I was excited to find live herbs in my search.

I got my avocado ready for the blender…

I added all of my dressing ingredients to the blender and let ‘er rip.

I then transferred the sauce into the fridge and got to work on my other veggie prep.

I steamed my asparagus and broccoli in the microwave for about 3 minutes and got them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. I prefer the thinner asparagus in salads. I find the thick stalks a little too woody.

I chopped up my bell peppers, halved my grape tomatoes, chopped up my red onion, measured out my seeds and spiral cut my zucchini pasta. I did end up cutting the zucchini noodles with kitchen shears – some of the pieces were easily over a foot long. I didn’t catch them all, one party goer got the bonus extra long noodle. 🙂

A cyclone hit my kitchen, leaving an artsy mess in my sink.. I really am a messy cook. I just chuck things into the sink, it drives the husband crazy. Think packaging, paper towels. He doesn’t understand why I can’t just open the cabinet door to put them in the trash. I try to explain… I’m an artist. When I’m in “create” mode, things fly everywhere. The same holds true to my desk at work. Designs hung on file cabinets, a million icons on my computer’s desktop… it’s how I roll. Messy Marvin for sure.

The next step was to add all of my veggies to a large mixing bowl. I spooned the dressing in a little at a time. I probably only used 1/2 the amount. I  didn’t want things to get too soggy, especially with the hour plus drive to Treasure Island. I did end up adding more fresh dill and salt and pepper to the final salad.

I really loved the raw seeds, it added just enough crunch and texture to the overall dish. I am a huge dill fan, you could easily sub for another herb like basil if you aren’t a fan. Ashley used quinoa spiral pasta for her salad and I might try that next time as well.

I think everyone liked the salad and it was a good compliment to the other green salad at the picnic and the sweet potato lasagna – which was delicious! I also made vegan cornbread, recipe coming soon.

I hadn’t been to Treasure Island since I was a kid. My girlfriend planned a photo scavenger hunt and we had a blast.

Cupcakes were also consumed. A very fun day surrounded by great friends, their family and lots of amazing vegan food.

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5 comments

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  1. So beautiful and light! I see you have a Blendtec… a little jealous over here, he he. I guess my food processor would work just as well.

      • foodiddy on September 14, 2012 at 8:16 am
        Author

      That’s how I used to feel when I saw other bloggers post about their Vitamix blenders… I have to say, my Blendtec rules! I’m super spoiled, Dan got it for me for my birthday/anniversary gift and I’ve honestly used it for post workout smoothies almost every day since. It even has an ice cream setting and the bonus, it fits under my cabinets. The Vitamix is way too tall. Prior to that I had an Oster and it worked like a champ, but this one is magical, LOL.

  2. What gadget did you use to make the zucchini noodles? That’s the only thing I haven’t figured out yet and I want to make this!

      • foodiddy on September 17, 2012 at 8:32 pm
        Author

      I got a spiral veggie slicer a few years ago. I love it!

        • foodiddy on September 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm
          Author

        http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0007Y9WHQ

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