recipes/ salads + greens

My Favorite Vegan Salad

My Favorite Vegan Salad | Well and Full | #vegan #salad #recipe

I need to do something, but I don’t know how to do it. You see, I need to thank nearly all of you for your wonderful support and encouragement in response to my last post. But I don’t think merely saying “thank you” will encompass the enormity of gratitude and love I feel towards all of you. Sharing such a huge (and controversial) life change with the world was no easy task for me. I was terrified of what the responses would be; of how my readers would react. After all, my entire identity (in regards to this space) was centered around the fact that I was vegan. But I think (I hope) most of you saw that I’m still the same person inside, just without any labels. Treating other people with honesty, kindness, and respect is still what’s the most important to me. And I’m so grateful that such a personal statement was met with nothing but those values.

So where do we go from here? To be honest, I’m still figuring that out. I don’t know the direction in which I want to take this space, or even my life. I feel like I’m at a crossroads in every aspect of my life. But at least in regards to Well and Full, I want this space to stay plant-based. This type of cooking fascinates me because it forces you to be creative with flavors without the crutches of dairy. You can make anything taste good with loads of butter or cheese, but creating a fully flavorful vegan dish is more of a challenge. And, to be fair, if there’s one thing I’ve learned through food blogging, it’s that it’s not actually that much of a challenge to make delicious vegan food. You just have to be a little creative!


Today’s recipe is an homage to delicious, wholesome, plant-based cooking. Even though it’s a salad, something that others may consider to be “boring”, every bite is an explosion of flavor. There’s spiced chickpeas (my signature item), crispy and addicting coconut bacon, and it’s all topped with a mouthwatering avocado dressing that’s just a bit spicy and a whole lot of lime-y. If you ever have any haters who say that vegan food isn’t flavorful, just make them this salad and call it a day. I hope you love it!

My Favorite Vegan Salad | Well and Full | #vegan #salad #recipe

My Favorite Vegan Salad | Well and Full | #vegan #salad #recipe
5 from 2 votes
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My Favorite Vegan Salad

This is my favorite vegan salad, complete with spiced chickpeas, addicting coconut bacon, and a mouthwatering avocado dressing that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 -3

Ingredients

Coconut Bacon

  • 1 Batch Coconut Bacon

Chickpeas

  • 1 Can Chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/8 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Sriracha

Avocado Dressing

  • 1 Avocado
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 1/2 Jalapeno ribs and seeds removed
  • Handful of Cilantro about 1/3 cup packed
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Pepper
  • More water to thin if needed

The Salad

  • Baby Kale or Mixed Greens
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Instructions

Coconut Bacon

  1. Start by making the coconut bacon. Recipe here.

Chickpeas

  1. Once the coconut bacon is done, crank up the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and drain chickpeas, then pat dry with a towel. In a bowl, combine all chickpea ingredients and mix until everything is evenly combined.
  3. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake chickpeas for about 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Avocado Dressing

  1. In a blender, combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water to thin if necessary.

Putting it All Together

  1. Fill your bowls with a layer of greens, then add on chickpeas and coconut bacon. Drizzle everything with the avocado dressing, and top it off with fresh cracked pepper.
  2. Enjoy!

My Favorite Vegan Salad | Well and Full | #vegan #salad #recipe

20 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    August 17, 2016 at 11:47 am

    This looks phenomenal! I can see why this is such a favorite :D

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 18, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks girl!! <3

  • Reply
    La petite poire
    August 17, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Divine!!!! I can’t wait to try this salad out, it looks so yummy and simple. Thanks for sharing 🍐

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      I’m glad you like it!! :D Thank you!

  • Reply
    dixya @food, pleasure, and health
    August 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    that coconut bacon!!!

    i missed your last post but now im all caught up. food choices is such a personal thing and you have to do whats good for your body. im happy for the decision you have made – vegan, non-vegan whatever the case may be..as long as it makes you feel better and heal your gut. that is the MOST important thing :) i love vegetarian style meals, im not vegan or anything but my blog is predominantly like that,.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 18, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Thank you so much for your support, Dixya!! I definitely agree that health is the most important thing, and that people have to make individualized choices based on what’s right for their health. But eating plant-based meals rocks and I will definitely continue to do that :) Thanks again for the encouragement :)

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    I considered writing in the past because your blog posts really resonated with me. I struggled awfully for nearly 3 years with severe GI issues. I come from an eating disorder background which, thankfully, is now in the past but 13 years of that left me with crippled digestion. I found Freelee (like so many girls do, it seems) and turned to veganism to heal. Even following a strictly vegan diet I was really bad off for about 2 years – I just couldn’t seem to find what worked. I’d quit school, couldn’t hold a job, some days I didn’t even want to get out of bed I felt so sick. I tried all variants of vegan diets (gluten free, FODMAP, raw vegan) and I went to a number of specialists at the medical center I work at (I can work now, I’m a researcher at a hospital) who also told me to include meat to get well. For me, personally, I couldn’t make myself do it – I never wanted to go back to eating animals…. in my mind, nutritional science just did not support that choice (I’m in love with Dr Michael Greger’s reviews).

    I share my tale because, 1. I hope you feel like you’re not the only one and,2. there is hope ;) It was after the last visit with one of those doctors that I was able to get honest with myself – I realized I was not going to find a doctor who would be willing to help me in the way I wanted/needed to be helped. So, I really dug deep into ingredients in my foods (again) and found that, for me personally, I can’t eat anything with added oil (and of course nothing that comes in a bag – only whole foods for me) and no gluten. Once I eliminated that, all of a sudden it was as if I was “cured”. After years of limiting foods I thought might be problem forming – including beans, nuts, soy, onions, grains, cruciferous veg, you name it – I found it was something really benign and simple to eliminate and avoid. I also discovered I can’t add much fat to any meal, at all – i.e. no soy milk or coconut in my smoothies, no desserts whatsoever – just some raw nuts on salads for mineral absorption. It means I absolutely cannot eat out and I must make everything from scratch, but for me that’s an easy trade off after years of suffering. I’m not suggesting this would be the case for everyone, but I figured throwing out what worked for me couldn’t hurt!

    Being sick made me desperate to find a “cure”, and for me it seems as if I finally, finally have. I wish you the very best of luck finding yours and I’ll be interested to continue to read your progress on this website. Whether your vegan or not, I’ll still be a follower! Your website is really lovely.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 19, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, Emily. I think we’ve had a lot of similarities in our journeys to health! What I’ve learned from this is that everyone’s health is different, and that we need to make individualized choices based on what’s right for us. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. And there’s no shame in that. My body doesn’t react to things made with oil/fat, but I definitely have problems when I eat too much fiber. Before, my diet was nearly entirely composed of beans and greens – completely unsustainable for my health. I also don’t tolerate tofu/tempeh very well, so I had to rely on beans for protein. It just wasn’t working. But now I feel so much better and I feel like I’m finally LIVING again!!

      Thank you again for your kind sentiments. I’m so glad you’ll continue to be a reader of this blog, it means the world to me :) Sending hugs, and the best of luck with your health journey too <3

  • Reply
    Natalie | Feasting on Fruit
    August 18, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Life figures itself out whether you are in on the planning or not. But I know the feeling, crossroads are a funky confusing place to be. One thing I know for certain is that you are so good at plant based recipes. This beautiful flavor-explosion of a salad is exhibit one of hundreds around here that prove that!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 18, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Awww thank you so much Natalie :) :) I’m definitely in a funky place in my life right now, but hopefully I’ll figure it all out soon ;)

  • Reply
    Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation
    August 18, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    This looks so deliious!
    I saw your previous post too and congrats on getting better! To be honest I don’t think it’s anyone’s business what you do or don’t put into your belly. Well it’s your business of course! So good for you for doing what feels right.
    Thanks too for sharing this lovely recipe.
    Take care

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you for your note, Kimberly. I agree that it’s not anyone else’s business what I put in my body, but I didn’t want to say that so explicitly in my post lol. But still, you’re right. People have to make their own choices for what’s best for their health, and that’s what I’m doing :)

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    This. looks. awesome. Jalapenos, coconut bacon, cilantro, avocado? You’re speaking my salad language, Sarah! Also, it’s touching to hear how supportive people have been—you deserve it!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 19, 2016 at 10:51 am

      We speak the same salad language, girl! :D And yes, it has been so wonderful that people have been supportive and encouraging during this transition. I can’t thank all of you enough!!

  • Reply
    Amy | The Whole Food Rainbow
    August 18, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Far from boring give me that salad any day it’s totally gorgeous food! Go for it and remember how lucky you are to be you, you’re so capable xx

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks Amy!! :D It’s hard to think of myself as capable when I feel like I’m failing at being an adult (lol), but honestly, who DOES have it all figured out nowadays? (Read: nobody). Sending hugs <3

  • Reply
    Marla
    August 18, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    HI Sarah, This salad looks great. I’m going to make it lunch today:)) I have to admit I skipped your last post because it was too hot to make soup. Thank you for sharing your story. I just have a question about diet-do you think your stomach issues were from excess Legumes, Beans, veggies? Is that why the doc recommended non-vegan (other sources of protein?) Sorry if you already discussed.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 18, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      It is definitely too hot for soup, I don’t know what possessed me to post a soup recipe in August!! haha! But my doctor thinks I was consuming too much “ruffage” – raw salads, fruits, and vegetables. And beans have a ton of fiber as well so that was contributing to my discomfort. But to be totally honest, I’m not sure of all the medical reasons why she recommended I not be vegan anymore… all I know is that it’s helped a lot. Hope this answers your question! :)

  • Reply
    Amber
    August 19, 2016 at 12:04 am

    I have to make this! Sounds amazing xx

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 19, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Thanks girl!! <3

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