This epic plant-powered chopped salad is packed with crisp, refreshing veggies and whole food ingredients. It comes together in about 30 minutes (chopping time included) and is made with chopped romaine, arugula, grated zucchini (offers a texture similar to shredded mozzarella cheese—for real!), artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, tomatoes, carrots, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and the most dreamy basil ranch dressing.
This salad. Oh, this salad.
I've been enjoying slightly different variations of this salad for the last six months or so, but I always come back to this exact combination. It's everything a chopped salad should be . . .
Crunchy + Crisp + Refreshing + Flavor-packed + Revitalizing + Hydrating = Epic Plant-Powered Chopped Salad
Plus, it's the perfect way to beat the steamy summer heat; it's cooling yet packs a satisfying punch of protein. Move over, wimpy salads, the empress is here to take the throne. (Apologies for the throne reference, GoT season got me like.)
This tasty salad comes together in about 30 minutes (chopping time included). Here's a rundown of all the goodness it contains:
Romaine, arugula, grated zucchini (offers a texture similar to shredded mozzarella cheese—for real!), artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, tomatoes, carrots, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and the most dreamy basil ranch dressing.
The dressing is made by blending together raw cashews (or hemp seeds), filtered water, basil, chives, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper until super smooth.
Once the veggies are chopped and the dressing is blended, toss them together in the largest salad bowl you've got, season with black pepper and sea salt to taste, and divide among spacious salad bowls. Or turn it into the ideal summertime grab 'n' go lunch . . .
1| Chop the veggies (refrigerate in separate containers) and prepare the dressing ahead of time.
2| In the morning, toss together the salad base ingredients in one container and pour the dressing into another container. Grab it as you head out the door.
3| When you're ready to enjoy, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
This recipe makes about 3–4 entree-size salads, so you can potentially squeeze a few lunches out of it but if you're going to do this, I recommend chopping the tomatoes no earlier than the night before. The other chopped veggies will hold up for a few days, but tomatoes don't fare quite as well, so keep this in mind.
Other than that, get choppin' and get crunchin'.
Epic Plant-Powered Chopped Salad
Creamy Basil Ranch Dressing
- ½ cup raw cashews or shelled hemp seeds
- ½ cup filtered water
- ½ ounce fresh chives
- Small handful fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium-large zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1 large head romaine, washed and thoroughly chopped
- 3–5 ounces baby arugula or baby romaine, chopped
- 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1 (14-ounce) can hearts of palm, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- ¾ to 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 to 4 tablespoons raw shelled sunflower seeds, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Sea salt, to taste
For the Creamy Basil Ranch Dressing
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high for 2 minutes, or until completely smooth. Pour into an airtight jar and keep refrigerated until assembling the salad.
For the Chopped Salad
- Using a box grater or a food processor fitted with the grater attachment, grate the zucchini. (You want a medium grate so that each piece of zucchini is about the size of a piece of shredded mozzarella cheese.)
- Add the grated zucchini, chopped romaine, chopped arugula, chickpeas, artichokes, hearts of palm, carrots, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds to a large serving bowl. Pour as much of the dressing as desired over top and toss to coat (or see note* for grab 'n' go lunch option). Generously season with black pepper and sea salt, if desired. Serve immediately.