Tanya Smith

Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Cultivate the soil before planting the seed

My Winter Salad Blueprint

Eating seasonally means making the best meals I can from the food that is available where I live (in Toronto). There are not many leafy greens growing around here this time of year!! I grow some sprouts on my kitchen counter (more on that another time), but that’s the only homegrown greens I can do when the garden is covered in ice and snow!

I refuse to buy imported leafy greens that come in plastic tubs. First off, the greens lose most of their nutrition on their way to me from California and second, what to do with those crazy plastic tubs??! The whole process is completely unsustainable!

When fresh greens are unavailable, my winter salads take on another dimension completely! Bring on the roots!! Of course I am using the term salad quite loosely here, but these meals are an amazing way to get lots of veggies into my days! Just like a usual salad, winter salads can include any type of veggie I like (or happen to have in the house!).

Here’s my winter salad blueprint:

Start with roasted vegetables – Toss bite sized veggies in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp of salt and a spice or two that will stand up to roasting. My faves are rosemary, caraway and thyme.
Spread the veggies on a baking pan and roast them in the oven at 350 for 30-40 minutes until they are cooked through but not soft.

Some of my favorite roasted veggies for salads are cauliflower, radishes, turnip, parsnips, beets, fennel, broccoli, carrots, onions, peppers, cremini mushrooms, squash and brussels sprouts.

Then add the greens – I love shredding cabbage to mix with my roasted veggies. Kale also makes a great base! Then top with some sprouts and a sprinkling of fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.

Get the crunch – Toasted nuts and seeds are wonderful, I often use a combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. You could also add chickpeas (cooked or roasted), toasted seaweed or  leftover cooked quinoa.

Dress it up – Sometimes I just squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the whole thing, but often I refer back to these 5 easy DIY dressings from Chef Franky G of Three Lily Farm.

Click here to download your own Perfect Winter Salad infographic! 

Make your own winter salad and share your creation with me on Instagram #wintersalad!

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