This Simple Harvest Salad with a Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette is both vegan and gluten-free. It’s the perfect, easy recipe for a crowd, the holidays or meal prep! This recipe post is sponsored by California Walnuts, but all opinions are my own.
In early October I had the pleasure of traveling to northern California for a trip with California Walnuts and fellow food bloggers! It was my first official blogging trip I’ve taken and it truly could not have been more perfect.
We ate delicious meals highlighting California walnuts, watched the entire harvesting process, enjoyed a walnut and wine pairing and even learned how to design our own mezze board from the snack-board queen herself, Gaby Dalkin from What’s Gaby Cooking!
The trip was seriously a dream come true and left me incredibly inspired to develop some walnut-based recipes of my own after learning about all the health benefits of walnuts.
Did you know walnuts are the only nut significantly high in omega-3 fatty acids? They contain 2.5 grams per serving of the plant-based omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA). One serving of walnuts also has 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.
Two nutrients I highly emphasize in my nutrition coaching practice and my e-book, Redefining Wellness.
Exhibit A: this Healthy Harvest Salad with a Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette!
After we finished our Walnut Harvest Tour, we experienced a one-of-a-kind lunch in the middle of the walnut orchard. One of the dishes was a Waldorf Salad featuring a walnut salad dressing. This was definitely one of my favorite meals on the trip!
I’m not kidding when I say I could eat that Waldorf Salad for every meal and never get sick of it.
I had never thought to make a salad dressing using walnuts, but it makes total sense if you think about it! I mean, I eat Thai Peanut Sauce on my salads all the time, so why not a walnut vinaigrette!?
This easy salad dressing is both vegan and gluten-free, so it’s perfect for a crowd and fits into all diets.
I added the dressing to a Simple Harvest Waldorf Salad since it’s currently approaching winter, but you could add this walnut vinaigrette to pretty much any salad recipe!
This creamy vegan dressing would make a great addition to any mezze board or snack plate!
For the Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette you will need:
- California walnuts (toasted)
- Avocado oil (or oil of choice!)
- Lemon juice
- Coarse Ground Mustard
- Agave (or honey if you’re not vegan)
- Red wine vinegar
For the Healthy Harvest Waldorf Salad you will need:
- Mixed greens
- Chopped celery
- Diced apples
- Halved grapes
- California walnuts (toasted)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dried cranberries
How To Make the Creamy, Vegan Dressing:
- Heat your oven to 375 F. Place your walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes until toasted. Do not burn or they will become bitter.
- Add 1 cup of your toasted walnuts to a blender (I used my Nutri-Ninja) and set aside 1/2 cup remaining walnuts for topping your Harvest Waldorf Salad later.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy. You will need to stop to scrape down the sides several times before reaching the consistency shown.
- Add additional water, salt, and pepper until you’ve reached your desired taste and consistency.
- Keeps well in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How To Make Your Healthy Harvest Salad:
- Chop your celery, apples, grapes, and walnuts.
- Add your prepared ingredients to a large bowl with your mixed greens and remaining ingredients.
- Drizzled with your desired amount of the creamy walnut dressing and toss to coat evenly. Serve and enjoy immediately!
No time to make this recipe right now? No worries.