Most Grocery Stores these days are filled with lots of options when it comes to ready-made salads. I, for one, always find them rather lack-luster and disappointing. They never quite come up to my expectations.
Did you know that you can create one very easily and quickly yourself at home? Sunflower Crunch Salad is my version of a very popular store brand chopped salad. I can promise you that it is not only quick and easy to make, but delicious.
You also know exactly what is in it. There are no chemicals and preservatives. You can pronounce properly every single one of the ingredients! None of it has been washed in bleach. Its all-natural, crunchy, colorful, easy to create, delicious, and healthily filled with plenty of wonderfully nutritious things that are actually quite good for you!
This is a salad that is nutrient-dense. It is packed to overflowing with tons of vitamins and antioxidants. There is even a smattering of protein from the sunflower seeds. It’s also very versatile. and makes a beautiful side dish for BBQs and get-togethers or even weeknight family dinners. It is also excellent as a fresh and tasty topping for tacos, burgers, and sandwiches. Packed into an airtight container it also makes a great lunch for someone on the go!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE SUNFLOWER CRUNCH SALAD
There is nothing truly out of the ordinary here.
For the salad:
For the dressing:
Optionally you will also need additional dried cranberries and sunflower seeds to sprinkle on top when you go to serve it.
HINTS AND TIPS FOR MAKING SUNFLOWER CRUNCH SALAD
You can be sure of success by following my handy hints and tips!
1. Read through the recipe several times before beginning to help familiarise yourself with any ingredients equipment or techniques you might need to make the recipe
2. Assemble all of your ingredients prior to beginning. This simple step can help to prevent you from leaving out or forgetting anything integral to the success of the recipe.
4. Use the freshest vegetables you have available to you. This is not the time to get rid of the dregs of your vegetable drawer. Use them for a soup. A delicious crunchy salad deserves the freshest ingredients.
5. When I am making a salad I always cut my vegetables into sizes that will fit comfortably on a fork without needing to cut them into smaller bits.
6. It is relatively easy to cut cabbage into small cubes/dice by cutting the cabbage first crosswise into ½ inch slices and then cut the slices in half, and then each half once more into small dice.
7. Blunt ended carrots are the sweetest and have the nicest flavour.
8. Carrots are very easy to dice into a small dice by cutting them into several slices lengthwise and then cutting those slices into several slices. Finish by cutting those slices into smaller bits/dice.
9. Wash your kale really well and try to use younger kale if you can. Because of its extremely curly leaves, it can harbor dirt and sand, so it’s important to get rid of that. Once washed, trim away the tough inner rib and discard. It is highly inedible. The kale is then ready to chop up finely.
10. You will need to chill the salad for at least one hour after dressing in order for the flavours to meld properly. Four hours is ideal and overnight is even better. This quality makes this salad the perfect make ahead dish!
11. If you are not fond of sunflower seeds, you can use another nut or seed that you do enjoy. Chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, or macadamia nuts all go very well.
HOW TO MAKE SUNFLOWER CRUNCH SALAD
You don’t need to be a cooking expert to make this beautiful salad!
Prepare all of your vegetables. Peel and chop the washed kale and the carrots. Chop both cabbages.
Toss them together in a bowl to combine. Add the salt and pepper, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits. Again, toss well together to combine.
Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.
Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and stir well together. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. It is actually best if left for four hours. This will allow for the flavours to meld beautifully.
Transfer to a serving bowl and stir well. Top with optional dried cranberries and sunflower seeds and serve.
Doesn’t that look pretty! Bright and colourful and filled with plenty of crunch. I guarantee people will be lining up to dig in!
WHAT MAKES SUNFLOWER CRUNCH SALAD THE PERFECT SIDE DISH?
- It’s a salad that everyone will fall in love with.
- Its fresh, crunchy, salty, sweet, and filled with goodness.
- You can make it ahead of time, which is a time saver on the day.
- Its fresh and colourful.
- It goes well with anything!
SUGGESTIONS FOR SERVING SUNFLOWER CRUNCH SALAD
I cannot think of any occasion that this salad wouldn’t go down a real treat! Today I served it as a side dish for our supper with some cooked frankfurters, baked beans, and fried potatoes.
It is excellent served alongside of any cooked meat, fish, or poultry.
You can add protein to this salad if you wish by adding some chopped meat, poultry or even cheese to the salad.
Its an excellent dish to bring to BBQ’s, Potluck Suppers, or the Holiday dinner/buffet table.
Divided into tightly covered individual containers it makes a great take along lunch for school or work.
Try it as a crisp, colourful, and crunchy topping on Tacos, Burgers, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, etc.
This lovely salad will keep, well covered, in an ai-tight covered container in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Crunchy, colourful, healthy, and completely addictive, this beautiful salad is something you can feel good about feeding to your family. Be prepared to fall in love!
FOR THE SALAD:
- ½ small head of red cabbage, trimmed and chopped into a small dice
- 1 small head of green cabbage, trimmed and chopped into a small dice
- 2 cups kale, ribs removed and chopped into small dice
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into small dice
- ½ cup of bacon bits
- 1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
FOR THE DRESSING:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 2 TBS granulated sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 ½ TBS apple cider vinegar
TO SERVE: (optional)
- Additional dried cranberries and sunflower seeds to sprinkle
- Prepare all of your vegetables. Toss them together in a bowl to combine. Add the salt and pepper, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits. Again, toss well together to combine.
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and stir well together.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. It is best if left for four hours. This will allow for the flavours to meld beautifully.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and stir well. Top with optional dried cranberries and sunflower seeds and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227 per 1 cup
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.