Winter Salad, or What to make for dinner when your minestrone plan fails

I wanted to write a post about winter salads.  However, I like to make things up as I go along, so I don’t really have a recipe.  I’m sure this was once from a recipe, but I love to make substitutions, so I imagine it no longer looks anything like the original.  I also don’t like to measure.  Unless I’m baking, and sometimes, not even then. (Note: I DO measure and follow recipes EXACTLY when I preserve.  That’s important.)

Anyway, this is how I put together a winter salad…

Take out cookbook, and flip to tried and true recipe for minestrone. Go through fridge.  Realize that I am missing several key ingredients for minestrone.  Scrap minestrone plan and start pulling out ingredients with dinner potential.

Carrots? Check. Beets? Check. Tofu? Check.  Natural Peanut Butter? Check.  Winter salad it is!

Decide this is blog worthy and spend 5 minutes searching for digital camera.  Begin cooking.

Winter Salad with rice and peanut sauce
1 cup rice or quinoa

1 beet, grated
1-2 carrots, grated
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1 pear, sliced
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup tofu, thinly sliced

Olive oil and/or sesame oil for frying
Splash of soy sauce

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup of warm water


1) Cook rice, quinoa or other grains.

2) Saute pear, mushrooms and broccoli for 5 minutes.  Place all veggies, including grated carrots and beets, into a bowl.  Add cooked rice, quinoa or other grain.

3) Fry tofu in olive/sesame oil.  Add a little soy sauce for flavour.  Fry until crisp.  Add to rice and veggie mixture when cooked.

4) Make peanut sauce.  Combine peanut butter, garlic, lemon, soy sauce, and ginger in a small container.  Add 1/4 cup of warm water.  Stir vigourously or mix with a hand blender.  If too thick, add additional water until desired consistency is reached.  The sauce should be the consistency of a milkshake.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

5) Serve salad.  Allow each person to drizzle peanut sauce on their serving.

Other potential winter salad additions:

Winter Salad with rice

cabbage, thinly sliced
sweet potato or regular potato, cooked and thinly sliced
dried cranberries
sunflower or pumpkin seeds
kale, massaged (link)
apple, sliced

This can also be a salad for all seasons.  It’s lovely with asparagus in the spring or cucumber and greens beans in the summer.

Yours in food,

One thought on “Winter Salad, or What to make for dinner when your minestrone plan fails

  1. Pingback: Dinner Group | Jen's Blog

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