Sweet Pea Power Salad with Pea Pesto Dressing is full of fresh, bright flavors and is packed with plant-based protein. Topped with a simple pesto dressing, it's perfect as a meal or as a colorful side.
Fall may be the time for all things pumpkin, but it's also the perfect time for huge, vibrant, belly-filling, nourishing, fill-your-plate-with-all-the-good-stuff salads. It's at this time of year, especially, when the days start to shorten and the markets fill with jewel-toned root vegetables, that salads are the perfect way to brighten any meal.
And I'm not talking about a wimpy pile of sad looking greens on a plate. I'm talking about a hearty filling salad with crispy roasted veggies, a bright green dressing, and tons of plant-based protein to keep you going and feeling amazing.
I always keep a big box of salad greens in my fridge so I can whip up a salad or throw a handful of greens into just about anything I'm cooking. I've long been a fan of OrganicGirl greens, and when I saw their new Sweet Pea mix at my local store I was so excited to try it out and add some variety to my everyday salad routine.
The Sweet Pea mix has fresh pea tendrils mixed in with other baby greens, adding a nice texture and some added protein (5 grams per box!). I dressed up the greens by adding more protein with roasted chickpeas, crunch and texture with roasted sweet potatoes, and a bright, homemade pea pesto dressing. The result is a incredibly flavorful, filling salad that's easy to make at home. If you'd rather not make the pea pesto dressing feel free to skip it and dress simply with lemon juice and olive oil. You just can't go wrong with this flavor combination!
1 | My daughter's not a huge salad fan, but she thought the pea tendrils were so cute she picked them all out of the mix and gobbled them right up.
2 | Roasted chickpeas and sweet potatoes are yummy, kid-friendly snack options. Roast some extra, then hold them aside before assembling the dressing. Serve the greens, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas separately on a plate with the pesto dressing on the side for dipping.
3 | Boil some pasta and dress with the pesto, then serve the greens, chickpeas, and potatoes on the side.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan
Sweet Pea Power Salad with Pea Pesto Dressing
For the Salad:
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dried
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 4-oz box OrganicGirl Sweet Pea greens mix
For the Pea Pesto Dressing:
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted (fresh peas will also work)
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1 large lemon
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring once. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (The chickpeas and the sweet potatoes can roast in the same oven, at the same time, just use different racks).
4. While the chickpeas and sweet potatoes roast, make the dressing by combining the peas, garlic, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoons salt in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined. Turn to high and drizzle in the olive oil. Continue to blend until the dressing is thick and creamy.
5. Assemble the salad by placing a handful of greens on a plate. Sprinkle with roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and drizzle generously with the Pea Pesto Dressing. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish.
Notes: The recipe for Pea Pesto Dressing makes more than you’ll need for the salad. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Use as a sandwich spread, tossed with pasta, or as a topping for roasted veggies.