fresh california salad

May 14, 2012 · 9 comments

in food, recipes

geez. it has been forever* since i posted a recipe.

*seriously, forever. the last recipe i entered in my recipage is from april 2. ouch.

i blame my insane school workload lately.

and a lack of motivation/creativity in the kitchen.

but, my cooking mojo has returned. i think it came with my csa box last tuesday!

as soon as i saw all of those vegetables, i wanted to create awesome food with them.

the first thing i did was go after the huge head of red leaf lettuce.

red leaf lettuce for salad

i wanted to recreate the salad that i had at capital tap haus. i know a salad isn’t really a recipe, but i wanted to share it with you anyway!

california fresh salad

by sarah zinkel

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: salad vegan vegetarian avocado

ingredients (2 large salads)

for the salad

  • half head of red leaf lettuce, washed and ripped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 medium avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tomato, diced

for the dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup water


for the dressing

add all ingredients except water to a blender/food processor/magic bullet and blend.

slowly add water until you reach desired consistency.

my dressing was the consistency of yogurt, but you can adjust the water to your preferences.

for the salad

mix lettuce and onion

massage the dressing into the lettuce leaves and onions

plate all ingredients: lettuce + onions first, then avocado, sunflower seeds, and sprouts

cali salad

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i really like the crunch of the onions and the sunflower seeds in this salad. they add some great texture!

also, it would be really easy to grill some chicken and add it to the salad if you’ve got a meat-eater in your family. you might not need it though. this was one of the few meatless dishes i’ve made that brad hasn’t asked me to add chicken to…

fresh cali salad  - top

this salad was great as leftovers for lunch the next day too.

i think it helped that the dressing wasn’t very runny, so the lettuce didn’t get soggy. if you make your dressing thinner, it might not hold up as well overnight.

brad has already requested that i make this salad again, so i’m hoping we get more lettuce in our csa box this week!


i’ve got another recipe ready to be typed up for later this week.

i think i’m back on my game! :) it’s about time…


i hope everyone had a great mothers’ day yesterday! brad and i didn’t get to see our moms, but we talked to both of them and wished them a happy day!

and it’s back to reality today.

i’ve got a normal morning of work this morning, but this afternoon i’m going to a seminar that is being sponsored by an obesity prevention group i’m a part of and then i’m presenting a poster about my gardening project at the poster session after the seminar.

also, i babysat on saturday night, so i’ve got a little extra spending money that’s burning a hole in my wallet. i think i’ll stop at marshall’s after work and see if i can find anything. i really want some cute summer clothes/dresses, but i’m so picky! hopefully i’ll find something i like.


how was your weekend?

did you get to spend time with your mom?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Aparna B. May 14, 2012 at 9:30 am

Yum! So lush and looks/sounds delicious! I haven’t cooked IN FOREVER either!! :( We’ve been so swamped with some stuff lately that I just don’t know why I’m not cooking creatively! I hope when some of the stress dies down, I’ll have more time for that. I had a great weekend! Spent with friends, got a hair cut, pedi, went shopping, all around fun. My parents are in India until July so my mom got an email wishing her a happy mothers day. Hoping to Skype with her soon, though! :)
Aparna B. recently posted…First Ever Foodie PenpalsMy Profile


sarah May 15, 2012 at 8:36 am

i know what you mean w/ the stress. sometimes, cooking and making a mess in the kitchen soothes and calms me, but sometimes i’m so far gone into a stressed out mess that the thought of spending more than 10 minutes on dinner makes me want to order pizza….

sounds like a great weekend! i NEED a haircut – i haven’t had one since january.


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

gorgeous green salad! i love that you added sunflower seeds – that extra crunch with the avocado is awesome.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Wining and Dining at Food & WineMy Profile


sarah May 15, 2012 at 8:37 am

thanks laura! yes! i am LOVING sunflower seeds on salads lately. my mom used to always add them to salads when we were growing up, but at some point i stopped doing that.

i’m glad they’re back!


emily (a nutritionist eats) May 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Yum! I love salad recipes because I’m always looking for new salad inspiration, this one is gorgeous and combines avocados, my recent obsession! :)
emily (a nutritionist eats) recently posted…quinoa spring saladMy Profile


sarah May 15, 2012 at 8:38 am

i am loving avocados lately too! i know avocados in wisconsin can’t even compare to the amazing ones you’re probably eating in california!


Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons May 15, 2012 at 11:54 am

my stomach just growled out loud =) I need to buy sunflower seeds — stat!
Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons recently posted…Veggie Patch Lasagna with Creamy Spinach SauceMy Profile


sarah May 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

get on that! it’s my new favorite salad topping!


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