I’m not kidding when I say you literally can’t ever go wrong with this dish. Not only is it super simple to whip up- you know, one of those throw everything from your fridge into a bowl kinda thing. But, it’s also something that feels good to eat in any season.
You know how in winter you want warm, cooked yumminess? And in summer you’re craving light, fresh goodness? Well, this really brings together the best of both worlds, which makes it super satisfying to eat whether you’re at a holiday table, or lounging poolside in the summer sun. That means that while this is called a harvest bowl salad, it’s not an exclusively fall salad recipe.
Don’t forget, I like to offer you options so that you can create a recipe that’s perfect for you! I have a ton of options to choose from, everything from vegan to animal products, as well as a variety of dressings to choose from. Get curious, get creative, and lean into your own unique cravings and needs above all else.
Harvest Bowl Salad
This (or a variation of this) has been my lunch of choice lately. There are SO many ways to bring this salad to life. The main things to keep in mind: blend of raw & cooked for a light but hearty feel.
When it comes to the cooked portion, I like to switch this up to: steaming some veggies, roasting or sautéing others.
Remember, the options I give are meant to spark your own ideas! Get creative with the produce in season & available near you.
I like to cook up a big batch of ALL the veggies, and then mix and match throughout the week. It’s a lot faster/easier to throw together when there’s already a lot pre-made, rather than trying to roast up a big batch of veggies on my lunch hour. I know you feel me on this.
The version I’ve made is vegan, but that doesn’t mean your’s has to be! You can add cheese- like goat cheese, blue cheese, or feta cheese- or animal proteins if that’s something that serves you.
It can also be fun to add fruits to your salad, like a thinly sliced honeycrisp apple, or a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. There’s also an opportunity to get that dash of sweetness through a dressing of your choice, like one that uses a bit of maple syrup. Or a honey dijon mustard blend with extra virgin olive oil. Yum!
Oh, and before I forget, one of the most important things when you’re making a monsterous salad such as this one is the bowl. You’re going to want a large bowl for this one, trust me. I don’t care if you eat the salad out of the same big Tupperware bowl you toss it all together in, or if you go hunting for the perfect ceramic bowl, instead. All I’m saying is make sure it’s large and in charge, because you’re not going to want to skimp on these ingredients. And you also don’t want to make a mess of everything spilling over the edge.
Harvest Bowl Salad Ingredients:
Raw Base: choose two mixed greens
- White cabbage
- I personally like to pair spinach & micro greens, and kale with white cabbage for texture purposes alone.
- But you do you! Just make sure to massage your kale. Otherwise, that shit can be tough.
Cooked Veggies: choose 3 – 4
Remember, these are suggestions, you can use ANY veggies that are plentiful and in season around you.
- Brussel sprouts
- Purple cabbage
- Bell peppers
- Roasted butternut squash
Grain: choose as many as you want
- Quinoa (red, white, or blend)
- Rice (white, brown, red, wild, or blend)
- Couscous (this is not GF)
Added Protein: I don’t do this every time, but some people like an extra somethin’ somethin’ so go nuts!
- Chickpeas (fried are bomb)
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds, etc)
Toppings and Spices:
- Olives (been super into garlic stuffed green olives)
- Chili powder
- Sea and pepper
Dressing or Dips: I usually choose one, but sauce it up!
- Green Goodness
- Spice Up Your Life
- Smokey Cashew Queso
- Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Squeeze of lemon & olive oil drizzle
- Whatever else your heart fancies!
- Alright, so I’m not going to walk everyone through how to roast and steam and sauté. But I will share the way I usually prepare each veggie type, based on my taste and texture preferences. Feel free to mix it up! Roast one week, steam the next, etc. Remember, steaming is better than boiling when it comes to preserving more nutrients. Also, roasting tends to take a bit longer, but brings out more flavor. Plus, you can roast with seasoning and spices, while steaming is a bit more plain.
- Choose your raw base of at least two mixed greens. Make sure to choose more than just one for a variety in texture and flavor. If you choose kale as one, don’t forget to massage it first, because that can be one tough little bugger.
- I personally prefer to lightly steam asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower so there’s still some crunch to them. If you’re more of a mushy person, steam longer until they’re soft. Another option for the light crunch is a short roast or saute.
- I like to sauté my purple cabbage with a dash of olive oil, heaps of ground garlic, white onion powder and chili powder. If you’re sensitive to spice, sub chili for paprika. I like to sauté until it’s soft, but not soggy. The scent of the spices should be robust here.
- I also sauté the bell peppers. I prefer these to be spicy, since the pepper itself is so sweet. Again, a dash of olive oil with heaps of garlic and onion powder. I use chili, but you can sub for paprika. I also like to add fresh cilantro to the bell peppers mix once it’s off the stove.
- I’m all about small cuts of brussels and sweet potatoes (cubes of potatoes and fourths of brussels), tossed with little to no olive oil, and mixed with ground garlic, onion, paprika or chili. I like both to be a little crispy rather than soggy, that’s why I go light on the oil. Roast at 350 F for about 30 mins.
- Once you’ve picked out all of your cooked veggies, then add them onto your bed of raw greens (I usually choose about 3-4 options, but just make sure you have at least 2).
- Add your grain, or grains. My favorite right now is the tricolor blend of quinoa, as I find it has the best texture, and the highest protein content.
- Add proteins if you want/need. My personal fave at the moment is chickpeas in any form. Whether it’s chickpea croutons, lightly roasted, or hummus, or flatbread- I’m just a chickpea girlie through and through.
- From here, I chop up some big ‘ole fresh green olives and sprinkle on top. I add a few more shakes of garlic powder.
- Slather with dressing/topping of your choice. I’ve been a Green Goodness addict lately, but if I want something heavier then I opt for hummus or cashew queso.