Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad with creamy ginger vinaigrette

This gluten-free and vegetarian salad is fresh, flavorful and satisfying! Loosely based on a "Chinese Chicken Salad", it's crisp, crunchy, savory, has a bit of juicy sweetness from mandarins and the most delicious creamy, ginger vinaigrette! Colorful and hearty, it's perfect on its own, with an additional protein of choice added in or as a side dish.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com
Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad with creamy ginger vinaigrette

Fresh, Satisfying and Delicious!

This Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad with creamy ginger vinaigrette is a new favorite!

It’s fresh, colorful (literally a rainbow!), hearty and so delicious with a great mix of flavors and textures:

  • crisp and fresh lettuce, purple cabbage and bell peppers
  • Crispy Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Crunch from toasted almonds
  • Juicy sweetness with the mandarins
  • and the yummiest creamy ginger dressing (more details on this below)

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

It’s equally perfect for lunch (works great as meal prep!), or as a main or side dish for dinner.

And it’s delicious as is or with the addition of grilled or roasted chicken, salmon or tofu.

Background…

This Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad is based on a “Chinese Chicken Salad” I love at a local restaurant.  That salad is offered with a choice of grilled chicken or salmon but I always order it with extra crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

And in re-creating this salad, I learned that the Chinese Chicken Salad, despite its name, is actually an American dish believed to be created by famed Austrian Chef Wolfgang Puck in the 1980s, (though some believe it originated somewhere in the 1930s). The “Chinese” name is in reference to numerous dressing seasonings of soy, rice wine vinegar, sesame and ginger.

I also learned that there are many versions of a Chinese Chicken Salad– most include lettuce, chicken, vegetables and almonds and many include crisp noodles, mandarin oranges and bean sprouts.  I’ve seen vegetarian versions include edamame.

So back to our loosely adapted “Chinese Chicken Salad” … it’s vegetarian– though you’re welcome to add any additional protein, it uses some, but not all, of the traditional ingredients and it has an amazing creamy ginger vinaigrette!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

Let’s make it!

Here’s what you’ll need for the salad:

lettuce of choice (we used a Spring mix because I like something with a little “body” that doesn’t wilt too quickly but a romaine or any greens you love will work!)

red bell pepper

yellow bell pepper

purple cabbage

brussels sprouts

mandarin oranges (either canned as used here or fresh)

slice almonds

micro greens (optional)

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

There’s 3 things you’ll need to do to prep the salad:

  1. Roast the Brussels Sprouts
  2. Toast the Almonds
  3. Slice the peppers and cabbage into match stick or small pieces

All of this can be done ahead of time. 

The Brussels Sprouts are simply tossed with extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice) and some kosher salt and baked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  While they roast, you can prep all the other ingredients and the dressing.

Pro-tip: if you roast the Brussels Sprouts ahead of serving, you can either eat them cold/ room temp or heat them up in a skillet or oven for 5 minutes to make crispy and warm again.

The almonds take just 5 minutes to toast, heating them over a dry warm saute pan.

And then make the Creamy Ginger Vinaigrette!

Here’s what you’ll need:

minced ginger

shallot

rice wine vineagar

gluten-free tamari or gluten-free soy sauce

mayo (low fat, full fat, canola or vegan)

grape seed oil

sesame oil

sugar

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

A quick note about the minced ginger …

You can either use whole ginger root and mince it yourself, but I found it easier to purchase minced ginger is you have that in a store near you…

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

And this vinaigrette requires two simple steps…

  1. Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a small blender or food processor. This allows all the ingredients to be emulsified and well blended.
  2. Whisk in the oils. Whisking in the oils second, helps them blend in nicely so they don’t separate when stored.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

The dressing too can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for several days.

When you have all your ingredients and the vinaigrette done, and you’re ready to serve just toss everything together in a large bowl, then toss with vinaigrette to taste and enjoy!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

Meal Prep Pro Tips:

The salad makes a large quantity so if making as part of meal prep, there are several options to keep it fresh:

  • store your ingredients separately and assemble when ready to serve (this allows you the option of reheating the Brussels Sprouts so they’re nice and crispy)
  • OR toss everything together except the toasted almonds, mandarins and dressing. This allows the almonds to stay crunchy and the mandarins won’t make anything else soggy.  Adding the dressing when ready to serve keeps everything fresh too!
  • If you make it for a packed lunch, just place the toasted almonds and manadarins on top, after tossing with dressing and it will stay fresh.

Either way, it is crisp, crunchy, savory, tangy, a touch sweet and so delicious!

A fresh and satisfying gluten-free meal or side dish!

Hope you love it as much as we do!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

Scroll down for recipe and leave a comment if you make it.

Recipe

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad with creamy ginger dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This salad is fresh, flavorful and satisfying! Loosely based on a "Chinese Chicken Salad", it's crisp, crunchy, savory, has a bit of juicy sweetness from mandarins and the most delicious creamy, ginger dressing! Colorful and hearty, it's perfect on its own, with an additional protein of choice added in or as a side dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Nut-Free Optional
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb brussel sprouts, halved (approximately 4-5 cups)
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper, sliced in matchstick slices
  • 1 red pepper, sliced in matchstick slices
  • ½ cup toasted almonds (skip or substitute pumpkin seeds if nut-free)
  • 1 11oz container mandarin oranges, drained, approximately 1 cup, or 1 cup fresh clementines
  • ⅓ cup micro greens (optional)
  • 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • approximately 5 cups lettuce of choice (we used half a 5 oz container of Spring Mix)
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice) for roasting Brussels sprouts
  • kosher salt to taste (for roasting Brussels sprouts)
Creamy Ginger Vinaigrette: (makes approximately ¾ cup)
  • 3 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 shallot (approximately 1 heaping tablespoon minced, more or less is fine!)
  • 4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup mayo (low fat, regular, canola or vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (taste and add in an additional 1 teaspoon for a slightly sweeter dressing)
Instructions
Crispy Brussels Sprouts
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place halved Brussels sprouts on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil so that they are lightly coated but not dripping, then spread Brussels sprouts in a single layer so that they are not touching. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake 30 minutes (on top rack preferably) or until crispy and tender.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Pro tip: If you make ahead, reheat and make crispy again by reheating for 5 minutes in a saute pan or oven.
Toasted Almonds
  1. Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add sliced almonds and dry saute until golden (about 1-2 minutes), stirring frequently (or gently shaking pan) so that they don't burn.
  2. Set aside. Store in a sealed container room temperature.
Creamy Ginger Dressing
  1. In a small high speed blender, blend ginger, shallots, mayo, vinegar, tamari and sugar until shallots and ginger fully minced and well combined.
  2. Take off cover and whisk in oils.
  3. Taste and add additional sugar for sweeter dressing, additional mayo for creamier.
  4. Can be made ahead. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for several days.
Assemble salad
  1. When ready to serve toss all the ingredients together along with dressing to taste, reserving some almonds and mandarins for topping.
Meal Prep
  1. Option 1: Store your ingredients separately and assemble when ready to serve (this allows you the option of reheating the Brussels Sprouts so they’re nice and crispy)
  2. Option 2: toss everything together except the toasted almonds, mandarins and dressing. This allows the almonds to stay crunchy and the mandarins won’t make anything else soggy. Adding the dressing when ready to serve keeps everything fresh too!

 

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad creamy ginger vinaigrette gluten free www.healthygffamily.com

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