Sunshine Salad with Pineapple Ginger Dressing

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Glad that I’m not the only one who has recipe failures!

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I rarely eat dishes that didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to: I’m just too picky an eater, and I value the experience of eating too much, to suffer through a mediocre meal. I do, however, try to take advantage of good ingredients when they fall into my lap, even if I I didn’t have my heart set on them.

For example: two week ago, M got a pineapple in his produce box, and shared it with me. I’d like to say that I immediately put it to good use, but I didn’t. See, pineapple isn’t one of my favorite fruits (if you’re new to my blog, hi! And FYI, I’m a super picky eater when it comes to fruit, which most of my regular readers know already), and it simply didn’t cross my mind to do anything with it except juice it. But since I’ve been too busy running hither and yon to juice anything, the pineapple sat.

And sat.

And sat.

Until today, when I realized how absurd it was that I hadn’t yet used this lovely looking piece of fruit.

Now, I know myself well, and I knew that the chances I’d eat the pineapple straight up (with my breakfast, for example) were slim to none. So I decided to do the thing I knew would guarantee speedy pineapple consumption: I decided to turn it into a salad and dressing.

Some people blend greens up with fruit to hide their taste; I blend fruit into greens to hide its taste. To each his own.

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Sunshine Salad with Pineapple Ginger Dressing (Mostly raw, vegan, can be GF)

Salad serves 2; Dressing yields about 2 2/3 cups

For the salad:

1 box organic baby romaine
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
2/3 cups black beans
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 cup cabbage (napa cabbage works well) shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
Handful snow pea shoots, chopped (optional)

For the dressing:

2 heaping cups fresh pineapple
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup water
1 inch ginger, fresh
1 tbsp low sodium tamari
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tsps sesame oil

To serve:

1/4 cup cashews

1) To assemble salad, simply toss all ingredients together.
2) To make dressing, blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender till smooth. Add more water if the dressing is too thick for your taste.
3) Dress the salad in about 1/3 cup dressing, sprinkle with cashews, and serve.

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Why should you love this salad? Well, it’s fresh. It’s filling. It’s both salty, and sweet. It’s full of healthy fats from the cashews and sesame seeds, protein from greens+beans, and all sorts of vitamins and antioxidants. The pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin B1 (Thiamin) and Vitamin C, and it’s also chock full of enzymes. The cucumber is hydrating and refreshing, and the cabbage is rich in Vitamin K and cancer fighting compounds called glucosinolates. In short, this is a nutrition powerhouse.

Why else should you love this salad? Well, of you’re avoiding oils or on a low-oil diet (which I’m not, but it seems that many of my readers are lately), you should also take heart in the fact that there’s only a small amount of oil in the dressing, which can be omitted if you’d like, and that the dressing itself is whole foods and low fat. Readers without Vitamixes should also rejoice in the fact that you can easily substitute tahini for sesame seeds, in order to make blending in a conventional blender easy.

I’ve got something for everyone today. Even those of us who didn’t think we liked pineapple very much…

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Until after lunchtime.


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Categories: Salads

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  1. I live in Queensland Australia and Pineapple is just about a staple here. Had two sitting on my bench as I read your recipe and thought, wow. I have just made it to have with fish tonight and am at present scoffing some for lunch.

  2. I just bought and froze a bunch of pineapple so I’ll try this one next week!

  3. I’m not much of a fan either except when freeze it in chunks and then blend it. It really mellows out the flavor/acidity and tastes just like this pineapple ice cream I had at Disney World. I see you posted doing the same to bananas. I do this with frozen strawberries, papaya, and (my favorite) blackberries, and combinations of them all. Frozen blueberries don’t work so well though unless you combine them with a banana or something- I’m guessing it has to do with the water content.

  4. You know I love pineapple. Funny that you have to blend up fruit to put on greens and I do the opposite. Whatever it takes!

  5. Love this dressing recipe! Pineapple is my favorite! I like to cut it up and eat the frozen pieces. Simple and refreshing. I also love to add a few pieces to a stir-fry. It give the dish a nice sweetness! I’m team pineapple all the way!

  6. I love that every morning when I get into work you’ve written a new post!

    I made your lemon chiffon pudding last night, in a nut&date tart shell, topped with strawberries and kiwifruit and my partner thought it was the best dessert I’d ever made – and that’s saying something!

  7. The salad sounds wonderful, thanks for the recipe. I adore pineapple, but should probably try this next time because it’s acidity doesn’t always love me when eaten straight up. 🙂 But they’re fun in stir fry and fabulous in a raw stirred, not fried, recipe I have somewhere.

  8. This sounds really good. I’ve been looking for some different salads to make my lunch more interesting. I love, love, love fresh pineapple, although I have trouble actually getting into recipes instead of straight into my belly. 🙂

    • Love the idea for the pineapple, I’m always looking for ways to switch up my salad dressing.
      And to Kate, your salsa recipe looks delicious. Perfect springtime food!

  9. I didn’t know you weren’t too much of a fruit fan.

    I have to say I’ve gradually moved more from a fruit lover to a veggie lover myself. Veggies are just so satisfying without any sugar high. Love this recipe, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. I love, love, love fresh pineapple! I think it’s one of my absolute favorite fruits ever (in fact, I’m intensely envious over here that you got an ORGANIC one in your produce box). 😉 I’ve put pineapple in salads and dressings before but only because I had too much to eat it on its own and wanted to get MORE pineapple. Your combination with Asian flavors sounds divine. Yay! A new way to eat pineapple! 😀

  11. Ingenious! I’ve got frozen pineapple in the freezer that I use in smoothies (except I haven’t made a smoothie in weeks because bananas currently cost $2.5-$3 EACH, and I’ve been failing at non-banana smoothies, but this is all completely beside the point and boring and irrelevant and oh hai rambling brain!), but next time I’ll keep it fresh and puree away 🙂

    • Where the heck do you live?? I got upset because bananas just went up to 49 cents a pound.

  12. oh! i just made chickpea pineapple pancakes today … 1/4c pineapple (the crushed in-a-can kind with juice), 1/3c chickpea flour, and some water to thin it out, with a bit of cinnamon … cooked in coconut oil … and topped with tahini. i thought i was being so innovative until i realized i was essentially eating pineapple hummus. ah well … 🙂

  13. That’s a fantastic idea! Fruits and berries are, overall, my favorite category of food. Pineapple, however, is the single “iffy” fruit for me. I like it in certain contexts and not others. An asian-y salad is one place I like pineapple, and I love the idea of a fruit-based dressing!

  14. This salad looks super yummy! Can’t say that I’ve ever put pineapple in a green salad before. See, while you and I are generally very similar eaters, the one stark difference is our appetite for fruit. I tried to limit my fruit for about 2 or so years of my life, and I was not a happy person. I LOVE fruit. Fresh, dried, frozen. Yeah, I probably eat too much of it, but if too much fruit is my guiltiest pleasure, and it also makes me happy, than I’m ok with that. One thing that isn’t ok is restriction, so I’ll look at it as if I’m eating all the extra fruit that you’ve neglected to eat! ANd the next time I encounter a pineapple I’ll do my best to keep from eating it all straight up and make myself this pineapple dressing!

  15. I ate an entire pineapple in two days. My mouth wasn’t happy.

    You said “hither and yon”, which makes you my new blog hero. Lucky you, right?

    I’m all about dressings that are light on oil and prefer to get my fats from nuts (or chocolate), so this recipe is right up my alley! Thank you for sharing your fruit ingenuity Gena!

  17. Yay for pineapples, no added salt, and easily omittable oil! I know you aren’t oil free, but I always appreciate it when people who aren’t post recipes with oil free options or with a small enough amount oil that I don’t worry about how the recipe will turn out if I omit it.

  18. Yum, yum! As evidenced by my lunch today, I am a huge fan of black beans and pineapple. Can’t wait to try your version of my beloved combination!

  19. Thanks for the low fat ideas! I really appreciate them. I started eating more raw foods and gained 4 lbs! Oi! I’m trying to loose so more raw LF options are very much appreciated.

  20. You crack me up. I have two little Peas that will gladly take any pineapple off your hands. Lulu will gladly give you kale in exchange. 🙂

  21. Hi Gena! I don’t think I’ve ever left a comment before, but I just couldn’t leave without saying something about this one! Your salad looks absolutely amazing! I love pineapple straight up (well, just about any fruit really) so I know this is definitely one that’ll knock my socks off! It has everything you could ever want in a meal: different textures, layering tastes, and an explosion of vitamins, minerals, and protein! I LOVE it!

  22. When a pineapple enters my house, it rarely survives the day, in facto most of it is usually gone by the time I’m finished chopping it up. I love this recipe though! I’ve never ever thought of using pineapple in a dressing. I can’t imagine how wonderful it must be!

  23. I love this salad and dressing recipe and it has my name written all over it (literally!)
    Sunshine Salad with Pineapple Ginger Dressing

    I lovvvvve pineapple and post recipes using pineapple when ever I can. Like stir fries or dressings with citrus, i.e. OJ or pineapple juice.

    I love this recipe of yours, Gena, b/c there’s no added salt, garlic, or onions. I adore sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. This is totally a keeper for me!

    And this…lol
    “Some people blend greens up with fruit to hide their taste; I blend fruit into greens to hide its taste. ”

    Have a good one 🙂

  24. Your ability to come up new salad dressings never ceases to amaze me. I can throw together a great salad by itself as long as the dressing part is already taken care of, but I can’t for the life of me seem to come up with a good dressing. Most of the time I stick to variations of oil, lemon or lime, or balsamic vinegar. Could you share some tips on how to create a good salad dressing/sauce?

  25. I ADORE that dressing idea! I have a seriously big craving for pineapple now (despite the chocolate food baby I’m having right now :p). You are so creative. Does that come just from reading recipe books and stuff?