Hello, my chickpeas! Today’s recipe is perfect for those of us who are excited for fall but are also trying to hang onto summer just a little bit longer. Say hello to my Strawberry Apple Cider Salad!
When creating this one I debated what to call it, and ultimately just went with “Strawberry Apple Cider Salad” since it describes the main flavors we are working with. However, a friend of mine also suggested “Between the Seasons Salad” since it is somewhere between summer and fall vibes – making it perfect for this time of year when we are transitioning from one season to the next. The strawberries are bringing in the vibrant summer vibes, but the apples and candied pecans are definitely bringing those cozy fall feelings. This salad is the perfect combination of these two fun seasons!
Inspiration for Strawberry Apple Cider Salad
About 4 years ago, in my pre-plant-based days, I went on a weekend getaway with my mother-in-law. While we were traveling, we stopped at a cute little cafe called Yaga’s and I ordered a strawberry salad. It was a relatively simple salad but had tons of flavor, and I still think about it to this day.
This Strawberry Apple Cider Salad is highly inspired by the salad I had back then! My eating habits have changed since then, so my version has some adjustments. I really wanted to create a similar vibe and use similar ingredients, but I wanted it to be vegan and oil-free! I am very happy with how my version came out and I hope you try it!
Here’s our round up today:
- Tofu Feta and Candied Pecans: These are two of my favorite recipes on the blog, and they both don’t take much hands-on timeI The tofu feta adds some saltiness and provides our cheesey component while staying vegan, and the candied pecans add some crunch, texture, and the perfect amount of sweetness!
- Strawberries and granny smith apples: for some fresh fruit and a lot of delicious flavor! I have recently been obsessed with fruit in salads, so creating a recipe of this nature was really just a matter of time.
- Mixed greens: you can use whatever greens you’d like here, but I find that just a bag of mixed greens from the grocery store is perfect!
- Apple cider vinegar, tahini, and maple syrup: these make up the bulk of our dressing! The original Yaga’s salad had an apple cider vinaigrette. I still wanted that general apple cider vibe, but without the added oil! The flavors in our dressing go so well together and the dressing itself couldn’t be simpler to make.
How to Make Strawberry Apple Cider Salad
You know the drill. Keep scrolling for the full recipe, but here’s the basics:
- Add dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake to combine.
- Combine greens, strawberries, apples, and dressing in a salad bowl
- Serve and top with tofu feta and candied pecans
- Eat up!
Tips & Tricks
A few final thoughts for you:
- The original salad actually had grilled granny smith apples. I tried this in one of my tests, and it was pretty good – but I actually decided I liked the crispness of the fresh non-grilled apple more, so I decided to go with that option. But if you are a fan of grilled apples, try it out! For the grilled version I used thin slices of apple and grilled them for 3-4 minutes on each side (I just did this dry with no oil).
- Once you assemble this salad it doesn’t last long in the fridge, so eat it fresh! If you want to make this ahead of time, I suggest making the dressing, the tofu feta, and the candied pecans a day or two before but storing each of them separately. Then on the day of, chop up your greens, apples, and strawberries. Combine everything and enjoy!
- Looking for another fun salad? Check out my Lemon Basil Orzo Salad next!
Strawberry Apple Cider SaladCourse: Salads, Lunch
This is the perfect salad for the transition between summer and fall – it’s fresh and vibrant from the strawberries, but also slightly cozy from the candied pecans and apples. The marinated tofu feta adds tons of flavor, and the Apple Cider Tahini Dressing is the perfect amount of sweetness. Enjoy as a side or for a light lunch!
*Note that “From Start to Finish” time includes 70 minutes for making both the candied pecans and the marinated tofu feta – both of which do not require much hands on time and can be made simultaneously (the candied pecans are mostly baking and cooling time, the feta is mostly marinating time). Once those are made it only takes about another 15 minutes max to chop your veggies, make your dressing, and combine everything to create your salad!
- Apple Cider Tahini Dressing:
1.5 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp water
6 cups mixed greens of choice, roughly chopped
1.5 cups strawberries, diced
1 granny smith apple, diced
Apple Cider Tahini Dressing (recipe above)
Half a recipe of Joyful Balance Marinated Tofu Feta (or you can use store-bought vegan feta)
Half a recipe of Joyful Balance Candied Pecans (or you can use store-bought candied pecans)*
- Make the Apple Cider Tahini Dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a bowl or small jar. Mix to combine, or if using a jar you can just put the lid on and shake until combined.
- Add mixed greens, strawberries, granny smith apple, and dressing to a medium-large salad bowl. Toss to coat everything evenly in the dressing.
- Serve and top with Marinated Tofu Feta and Candied Pecans.
- *Candied pecans: Many store-bought candied pecans contain egg, so be sure to check the ingredients if you choose to go this route and want it to remain vegan!
Stay Joyfully Balanced!