I thought I couldn't love anything more than a caprese salad but I was wrong.…
This salad with apples and sweet sesame dressing will remind you just how delightful and satisfying salads can be.
If you’re struggling with binge or compulsive eating, try to incorporate as many nutrient-dense foods in your day as possible. The more you can load up on nutritious foods (like this salad with apples), the less you’ll crave unhealthy food over time.
This salad with apples doesn’t make that a chore! Truly great food is about complimentary flavors, tastes and textures. This hits the mark on all 3 criteria! Your taste buds will be delighted and the best part—it’s so simple and easy!
This is my mom’s favorite salad and it’s so easy to see why! Enjoy salty, crunchy sunflower seeds with tart, slightly sweet apples and sharp, nutty, slightly caramelly cheese sitting on a bed of leafy, mild lettuce. Top it off by drizzling the most flavorful tangy, sweet dressing with the slightest touch of heat!
tips for eating more salads
Do you eat salads with dinner at night? Sometimes when I’m tired it seems like a whole lot of effort!
It helps to make it as easy as possible to have salads because I feel better when I do and I’m not likely to binge on more food later.
To make salads convenient:
- Prep for multiple days when you make a salad.
I always wash a couple of heads of lettuce and slice a couple of onions/ peppers, etc. at a time. I’m not a typical meal prepper, spending a couple hours on the weekend portioning food. Instead, I keep a stocked fridge and cut as much as I can each time. I keep salad ingredients in baggies in a big Tupperware for easy access.
- Sharpen your knife skills (pun intended).
I believe that if you’re comfortable with a knife in the kitchen, you’ll use it more. Feel at ease slicing and dicing! That makes it so convenient. Here’s a great tutorial on cutting veggies.
how do you cut apples for salads?
- Cut them with a knife:
- Place the apple in an upright position on a cutting board.
- Starting on one side of the apple, slice down as close to the core as possible. Continue to slice through all the sides of the apple until only the core remains. Discard the core.
- Cut up apples on a board
- Place the flat side of each large slice face down and then cut into thin slices.
- To shred them, you can use a food processor or grater:
- Grip the apple by the top and the bottom of the core and grate it on the large holes of a paddle or box grater. When you reach the core, turn the apple 90 degrees. Repeat until only the core remains.
- Use a peeler. Remove the skin with the peeler and then continue to peel until you reach the core.
- Use a mandolin. I used the thin julienne panel and the thin slice panel.
what apples are best for salads
For this salad, I use a more tart apple like Granny Smith however you can use any combination of apples you like.
You could use apples that are more sweet like Honey crisp or Fuji or those that are more tart like Granny smith, Pink Lady, Braeburn, McIntosh, Jonathan, Empire, and Cortland.
ingredients for salad with apples and sweet sesame dressing
Mixed greens: I like to use a mix of greens (red and green leaf lettuce) as well as baby spinach and kale.
Apples: I like to use a tart apple for this salad, like Granny Smith, so it balances the sweet dressing and salty sunflower seeds. Feel free to use whatever apples you prefer or have on hand!
Toasted sunflower seeds: You don’t have to toast them but it does add dimension to the salad. Feel free to replace with whatever “crunchy” you have on hand: pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Aged Gouda cheese: Buy a block of aged Gouda and simply shave off pieces on to the salad with a peeler. Aged Gouda has a wonderful distinctive flavor that can be both sharp and sweet, like caramel. It is a hard cheese that doesn’t come in the red wax covering, but a natural buff colored rind. Parmesan is a good substitute for this recipe.
Red onion: If you can, slice the onion paper thin with a Mandolin. Not a huge deal, I just love the soft texture as it blends in with the lettuce. Shallots are a good substitute. They’re a little milder in taste but still work.
how to make salad with apples
- Make the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients into a glass jar. Shake well to combine.
- Layer the greens, veggies, cheese and sunflower seeds on plates or in a big salad bowl.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad. Serve immediately.
what salad dressing goes with apples?
Apples pair so nicely with most vinaigrettes. I often throw apple slices into the salad when I use balsamic or red wine vinaigrettes. They provide wonderful texture with a slight crunch and sweetness.
can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, however make sure you sprinkle the apple slices with fresh lemon juice and seal in a tight container so they don’t turn brown. All the other ingredients can be stored in containers until it’s time to throw the salad together.
how long will this salad keep?
If left undressed, the salad will last in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days without wilting. Seeds won’t be as crunchy but the overall flavor will still be wonderful.
Unfortunately, if the salad has been dressed, it will wilt quickly so I never bother storing.
other healthy side dishes you’ll enjoy:
- loaded potatoes with bacon and avocado sauce
- butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette
- slow-cooker butternut squash soup
- herb roasted sweet potato fries
- sautéed green beans with shallots and garlic
If you make this salad with apples and sweet sesame dressing, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and will respond to each and every comment.Print
Enjoy salty, crunchy sunflower seeds with tart, slightly sweet apples and sharp, nutty, slightly caramelly cheese sitting on a bed of leafy, mild lettuce. Top it off by drizzling the most flavorful tangy, sweet dressing with the slightest touch of heat!
For the Salad:
- 1 large or 2 small Granny Smith apple(s)
- 5 ounces (about 5 cups) spring greens salad blend
- 1 cup carrots, matchstick-cut or shredded
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- shaved cheese (aged gouda or parmesan)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (you can use any other oil as well)
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (date paste, honey or sugar)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Shake the dressing ingredients up in a jar until smooth.
- To toast the sunflower seeds, place them in a small skillet with oil and salt. Cook over low-to-medium heat – stir often so they don’t burn. These should take about 5 minutes (until they start to smell fragrant).
- Toss all the salad ingredients together. Drizzle with dressing and serve!
*To make this Whole30, Paleo and Isagenix 30 day compliant, skip the cheese. Also, use date paste for W30 and honey or erythritol for Paleo & Isagenix 30 day.
Keywords: salad with apples, salad sweet sesame dressing