Give Peas a Chance: Sugar Snap Pea, Arugula, and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Hemp Seeds and Vinaigrette
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There’s a long list of vegetables I “love,” yet never seem to use in my everyday cooking. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • fennel
  • brussels sprouts
  • rutabaga
  • green beans
  • sugar snap peas

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with these vegetables. In fact, everything about them is right. It’s just that, with the exception of the fennel, they involve cooking, and part of my penchant for raw foods is that even steaming strikes me as a lot of effort sometimes.

Of course, cauliflower rice is effort too. It’s really all in my head.

On Sunday, when I saw sugar snap peas on sale at the farmer’s market, I resolved to put them to use for once, rather than talk about how fond I am of them, and then fail to use them.



I’m so glad I did. They added character and sweetness to this otherwise tart salad (which features spicy arugula and bitter dandelion greens). Steaming them took mere minutes, and was a good reminder that it’s good to get over one’s culinary mental blocks sometimes. What’s next, I wonder? Is roasted fennel in my near future? I think it should be.

The dressing in this delicious salad is my newest favorite, a mixture of hemp oil and tahini, lemon, orange juice, salt, agave, and pepper. I’ve been eating it on anything and everything, and it was delightful here.

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Sugar Snap Pea, Arugula, and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Hemp Seeds and Vinaigrette

Author - Gena Hamshaw


  • 1 cup sugar snap peas ends trimmed
  • 2 cups tightly packed arugula
  • 1 cup dandelion greens sliced very thinly
  • 1 small heirloom tomato diced
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped basil for garnish optional


  • Bring a small pot of water to boil and add the snap peas. Boil for about a minute or 90 seconds. Drain them and run under cold water for a minute or so. Set them aside.
  • Place the greens, tomato, and peas in a salad bowl. Add the hemp seeds.
  • Use a whisk, blender, or food processor to mix the hemp oil, tahini, orange juice, lemon, agave, sea salt, and pepper. Pour a few tablespoons of dressing over the salad and toss till everything is coated. Serve, with a little chopped basil if desired.
  • Makes a single serving. Can easily be doubled.



Alongside my tasty salad are some almond crackers I’ve been working on, and working on, and working on. I think they’re just about ready to share, and share them I may, as soon as tomorrow. Perfecting a cracker recipe feels like no work at all, whereas boiling water sometimes does. The kitchen is a funny place.

What vegetables do you love, but fail to make often enough? What are some of your culinary mental blocks? I’m curious to hear!




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Categories: Salads
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan

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  1. This salad looks so refreshing. There’s nothing like a good dressing. I find that’s half the battle to getting something delicious on your plate. I’m going to try this for sure. One of my favorite summer go-to salads is watermelon, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, lime juice and a little sea salt sprinkled with hemp seeds. I’m going to try this and add it to the list! It was so great to meet you at VVC2013! 🙂

  2. This looks so good — and the crackers posted are great too! I often mean to make dishes with turnips, but I buy them and then watch them turn. Weirdest thing! So I guess I just have a turnip block – ha! No way to explain it either!!

  3. Vegetables I love, but don’t eat enough are include eggplant, fennel, turnips and parsnips. I love making baba ganoush from eggplant, as well as baking it & eating with ketchup. Fennel? It’s delicious raw with hummus & roasted until caramelized-yum! Nice sweet turnips are delicious raw with salt or in a fabulous soup from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Parsnips are delicious roasted, especially if you can get tiny ones; the root ends gets crispy & they taste fabulous. I also like parsnip patties from Laurel’s Kitchen. We buy almost all of our produce from the farmer’s market, so that is why I miss turnips, parsnips-I don’t think those vegetables are grown on Maui. We eat eggplant & fennel when they are available. Just got 2 gorgeous, perfectly smooth eggplants yesterday!

  4. Just the title of this post makes me smile immensely :-D. I adore sugar snaps, and eat them all the time! Raw, with hummus, please. One of my favorite veggies I don’t make enough is beets, but I blame that on pure laziness and impatience (I never feel like waiting for them to cook).

  5. I love peas! This recipe truly looks so healthy and delicious. I like veggie salad and I love to try any recipe that looks so healthful like this one. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I love it! 🙂

  6. O i’ve just got to put in a recommendation for raw rutabaga (swede)! Thinly sliced it adds lovely sweetness and colour to salads – i prefer it to carrots

  7. Chard – I don’t like it raw, by itself, and I usually just want to chop, toss, and eat – but a friend gave me a huge pile of chard from his garden so I put a little broth and cider vinegar and smoked salt in a fry pan, steamed it with the lid on for a few minutes, cut up half an avocado over it and sprinkled with hemp seeds. It was terribly fast and easy and oh my word it was good.

  8. Hmmm. I’m not a fan of arugula or dandelion – but my hubby would adore this salad. I suppose I could brave them for him… and they are super healthy!

    • I don’t love dandelion either, but try to eat it now and then because it’s dang healthy. I couldn’t taste the bitterness in here!

  9. Raw food never ceases to amaze me. I think I’ve tried all of those veggies raw save rutabaga. In fact, snap peas are best raw, imho. Perfect for dipping into hummus! I also like to thinly slice them on a diagonal and add them raw to salads.

  10. I wish there was just one veggie that I don’t use enough. I love cauliflower, various squash, zucchini, broccoli, etc. With my physical limitations due to health issues, it’s a little more difficult to prepare, which, in reality, is the main reason why I don’t eat enough veggies. I could spend hours on my feet in the kitchen, making bread, desserts, lavish dinners, etc. Now I can hardly stand in the kitchen for more than 10 min. It has been a learning process, figuring out how to get back to cooking the way I used to before I got sick. But I will get there, and your recipes have been helping me. Thanks!

  11. You should definitely try shaved raw brussels sprouts with a light lemony dressing–so delicious!

    As far as culinary mental blocks, I for some reason can never manage to make my own hummus. I make homemade nut milk/butter, lara bars, salad dressing, etc, and find them all way better than store-bought. For hummus, though, I just never feel like it’s as tasty as my favorite brands. The good ones can be so pricey though…you’ve inspired me to try again!

  12. This salad looks delicious, and I can’t wait to try the dressing! Whenever I come across an interesting vegetable at the farmers’ market, I usually roast it in the oven with coconut oil, sea salt, and pepper; it always turns out tasty. Steaming just seems like too much work to me for some reason! I’m trying to integrate more raw food preparations into some of my meals, though, because I love to juxtapose the crunchy, alive stuff with the tender, satisfying taste of cooked food.

  13. I actually bought sugar snap peas the last time I was at the farmer’s market because they were so damn cute, and I never ended up using them. Guilty.

  14. Sugar snap peas are the perfect thing for a salad – I always seem to bypass them in the aisles when I shop, because they’re always there all year round and aren’t always tasty out of season… might have to start adding them to salads now – love the crunch!

  15. I eat fennel, green beans, and sugar snap peas raw all the time! In fact, I didn’t know people cooked sugar snap peas! I do chop raw fennel finely, but one of my favorite snacks is whole, raw green beans and sugar snap peas (and I did some research and it’s fine to eat green beans raw). I love eggplant but rarely make it! (Mostly because I don’t seem to have a knack for cooking it.) The dressing sounds great; I love trying out new dressings – but I think I will try it with olive oil!

  16. I like sugar snap peas a lot – mostly for it’s crunchiness – but regular sweet peas creep me out for the opposite textural reason – it’s mushiness! There are certain veggies that I prepare routinely in the winter, but come spring, seem like too much effort – brussels top this list. (Instead, asparagas takes its place in my salads.) Oh, and tomatoes are definitely a (huge favorite) spring through fall veg for me, given that I live in the Midwest, where they are nearly inedible in the colder months.

  17. I love broccoli!! Even though I will eat it, the only time that I actually enjoy it and eat it passionately is whenever my grandma cooks broccoli. When my mom makes it, it comes out soggy and sad while my grandma’s broccoli comes out vibrant and green every time. I don’t know how she makes it and I’m too lazy to find it and try it myself 😛 haha.

  18. Fresh, lightly steamed broccoli is the best and I don’t make it nearly enough!

  19. Raw sugar snap peas are also delicious! So sweet and crunchy. I eat them along with carrot sticks and other crudités with hummus or some other kind of dip.
    Fennel’s a vegetable I love but practically never use it in my own kitchen. Not sure why as it’s always been amazing whenever I’ve eaten it. Can you point me in the direction of some good recipes?

  20. This looks so good! I love sugar snaps. I often enjoy them raw with some tahini! Hmm my favourite veg (that is such a hard question!) right now I’m loving peppers and olives (if you can even class them as a veg?). I seem to always be in a culinary mental block!

  21. I agree with you on the brussel sprouts! I love them too, but I don’t find they require cooking. Try shredding them and adding to any salad!

  22. I’m the same way, only it’s not the cooking part, it’s just my inability to stray from the “old stand-by.”
    This salad looks delicious. I love sugar snap peas but always eat them in stir-fry–never in salads. Perhaps I should remedy that!

  23. I too have vegetables I like a lot but never think to make for myself. It’s a shame what we can miss out on. Thanks for the reminded about the peas – this sounds delicious. Especially with summer tomatoes. Very intrigued by dandelion greens too – I almost picked some up today but didn’t know what I’d do with them.