Kristi Whitley

Healthy Living

Hardy Winter Salads

Although I love a thick, hearty, carb-rich stew or soup in the winter,

my body craves raw, crunchy salads. But, in winter, the seven-day salad

doesn’t have as much appeal because of the lack of good tomatoes and

cucumbers. That is when I search for recipes for carrot, celery, apple, rice,

and bean salads to get some vitamin C and enzymes into my winter-weary


Raw = Vitamin C  + Water

I always encourage you to eat raw at every meal. In winter it is more difficult because we don’t want cold food. But, our bodies need the vitamin C to use as an antioxidant to boost our immune function. We also need the water in raw vegetables to quench our thirsty skin.

Roots Make Good Salads

 Readily available in winter, roots provide a good base from which to launch a salad. Try beets and citrus, carrots and raisins, or radishes. Add hearty dressings made with citrus and almond butter or flavored vinegars and oils.

Although this recipe has summer veggies in it too, the main characters are carrots and beets. The dressing makes it a very satisfying and hearty salad that can be served room temperature on cold days. I bought my “Veggetti” spiral slicer at Ross for $9.  I also cheated and bought the crispy chickpeas at Sam’s Club in the snack aisle.

Spiralized Rainbow Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Almond Butter and Lime Dressing
Adapted from

For the Salad

1 large carrot, spiral sliced
1 medium golden beet, peeled and spiral sliced
1 small zucchini, spiral sliced
¼ purple onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
Fresh parsley, chili flakes, sesame seeds for garnish, optional

For the Dressing

2 T almond butter, I used roasted
2 t rice vinegar
1 t miso paste, (important sour and salty taste)
juice of 1 lime
1 t fresh grated ginger
2 t maple syrup
dash of hot sauce, or to taste
salt and pepper

For the Chickpeas

You may want to make extra for an appetizer or for snacking while cooking.

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and dried with paper towels
1 T olive or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste


Start by making the crispy chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and layer paper towel on top. Pour the rinsed and well-drained chickpeas on the paper towel. Top with another towel and rub them dry. Remove all the paper towels and drizzle the chickpeas with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.Bake for 40-45 minutes. Leave them in a warm oven for another hour to get them even crispier.

Meanwhile, spiralize the beet, carrot, and zucchini and slice the onion and bell pepper. Place them all in a large bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, taste and adjust the sweetness, saltiness and spiciness to your liking.

When the chickpeas have cooled. Toss the dressing and vegetables together and separate into two servings. Garnish each bowl with ¼ cup of chickpeas, parsley etc. Serve.

Notes: Cheat by using jarred ginger found in the produce section or refrigerated minced ginger in a tube found near the fresh herbs in the produce section. Also, use the smallest cut available on the slicer.

Wild rice Waldorf salad

Another winter salad I made recently was a giant hit with my dinner guest, Lynne. She had the idea of making it into lettuce wraps. I served it on bib lettuce leaves. It combines tart, crisp granny smith apples, almonds, rice, celery, and bell pepper. I adapted it from one of my favorite cookbooks, given to me by my friend Juliana. It is the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. You can find their recipes online too. This makes a ton of salad and it will only keep for about 24 hours so send some home with guests or serve a crowd. Also, I cooked my rices separately according to package directions. Wild rice takes about 45 min. to cook. I used parboiled brown rice that only took about 15 min.

• 2/3 cup Wild rice
• 2 1/2 cup Hot water
• 1 cup Brown Rice
• 1 Large Granny Smith apple
• 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
• 1 Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
• 1 cup Celery, diced
• 1/2 cup Red onion, minced
• 1/2 cup Raisins or currents
• 1/4 cup Toasted almonds or walnuts, chopped, slivered

• Dressing

• 1/2 cup Orange Juice
* 1 Tbsp sweet vinegar
• 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup or honey
• 1 tsp Ground coriander
• 1/2 tsp Ground cardamom
• 2 Tbsp Vegan mayo

Preparation Steps

1. In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, soak wild rice in 1cup hot water for 30 min.
2. Add brown rice and remaining 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil.
3. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 45 min.
4. When rice has cooked for 30 min. Dice the apple and toss with lemon juice in a bowl.
5. Add peppers, celery, onion, raisins and nuts. Set aside.
6. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
7. Mix fruit, rice and dressing together and toss to combine.
8. Serve chilled or room temp.

Makes about 10 side-dish servings or 4-5 entrée size servings. Perfect for holiday meals.


* I used cranberry pear white balsamic vinegar. Other fruit vinegar or apple cider would be fine with a little added maple syrup.