A Simple Spicy Spring Salad

I used to avoid salad at all costs – I didn’t find it filling and didn’t think it could be a meal.  I’m still not entirely convinced that I’ll ever think of salad as a meal but I’m finding them to be more and more filling – and more and more interesting – all the time.

Salads like this are anything but boring:

A Simple Spicy Spring Salad salad hot sauce

Before we get to the recipe, here’s a few reasons why I’m eating salad more often:

  • There are more seasonal ingredients available every week that make it an easy choice.
  • It’s quick to make.  I use a matchstick/ julienne mandoline which turns my veg/ fruit into tiny slices in seconds (an entire apple is shredded in less than 15 seconds).
  • They’re tasty.
  • They can be spicy.  This isn’t really a ‘main’ point but I share it because I didn’t realize that hot sauce has a place in salads – and I’m a giant hot sauce fan.

Note that I didn’t say they were healthy.  While that’s true, my motivation to eat is rarely tied to health.  I wish I could be motivated by that but I’m more interested in delicious food than healthfulness – so the fact that this is healthy is an added benefit but not the motivation for me eating it.  And that works for me!

One of the biggest tricks I’ve learned about salad is the importance of letting it rest.  A salad with dressing is almost always improved 20-30 minutes after it is assembled.  The ingredients have time to mix and meld.  I used to make salad right before serving my meal (while it cooked); I now often prepare it first.

This salad can be eaten as a main or a side.  If you don’t have Asian Micro Greens you can use any leafy green (though small sprouts will yield the best results).  Don’t skip on the peanuts (you can substitute other nuts or protein) – they balance the hot sauce and make the salad far more filling.

Spicy Spring Salad – Ingredients

  • 1 large apple, shredded or julienne
  • 4-5 medium carrots (about half the volume of apple), shredded or julienne
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (you can toast them but I didn’t)
  • 3-4 cups micro greens (about 1 pound)
  • Juice of 05.-1 lemons
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Siracha or other hot sauce

Spicy Spring Salad – Instructions

  1. Mix the apple, carrots, peanuts, greens and juice of 0.5 lemon.  Mix, taste and season with salt and pepper.  It should be tart – if it’s not, add more lemons (they add a bright flavor and help keep the apple looking fresh).
  2. Add olive oil, stir and taste as you go.  The typical ratio is 3-4 times the amount of lemon juice but I used equal portions for this (about 2 tablespoons).  I rationalize the high amount of lemon as it contrasts with the hot sauce that you’ll add later.  Let your palate guide you.
  3. Allow the salad to sit for 20 minutes.  Taste, add salt and pepper if needed.  Add siracha (enough that you can taste some heat but not enough to overwhelm the other flavors).  I add it at the end so I know how much flavor to add.
  4. Mix and serve.

This can be eaten as a meal, side or even as part of a sandwich or wrap!

Do you eat salads as meals?  What are your favorite ingredients?


  1. This is exactly the kind of saladI want to eat in huge quantity this spring! I love the peanut addition. Wouldn’t this be great in a big wrap with hummus?

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