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Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad ‘Tacos’ with Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing

Today I’m sharing a recipe for vegan Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad ‘Tacos’. The idea for this recipe was one of those accidental wonders that came from an unexpected source.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a coworker who raved about this local raw food meal delivery plan that him and his wife have been subscribing to for a few months now. While they don’t consider themselves vegan (they eat meat and dairy when they go out), my colleague was telling me about his elevated energy levels, clarity of mind, etc.

I asked him about his favorite recipes, and he mentioned a few, including a simple broccoli-apple salad that their meal plan pairs with raw crackers.

UPDATE: This recipe has been approved by Dr. Michael Greger of for  his directory of healthy plant-based vegan recipes!

Broccoli-Apple Winter Salad Tacos - vegan recipe approved by NutritionFacts.orgI started thinking of various ways to make this salad at home. I knew that raw crackers made in a dehydrator weren’t going to happen, so I decided to just layer scoops of this salad onto lettuce leaves – and this is what happened:

Broccoli Apple Winter Salad Tacos VVP 2014The main components of this salad are very simple – an apple, some red onions, and chopped broccoli florets. Since broccoli is chopped into small pieces, this is a good recipe to use some of the broccoli stalk that usually gets thrown away. The top parts of the stalk and the branches that hold each floret work best – the bottom of the stalk may be too hard.

As for the dressing, I decided to forgo raw cashews soaked in water that are so often used to make creamy vegan dressings: I don’t have to tell you (but I will anyway) that good raw cashews are quite pricey, plus they make my stomach act up.

So instead of cashews I chose to use raw hulled pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with dietary iron and magnesium, in case you needed some convincing that this salad is healthy 🙂

You can soak them in water for a few hours before blending, but I skipped that and wasn’t disappointed. A high-powered blender like a Vitamix would be best to yield the creamiest results, but I don’t have one, and my Cuisinart food processor did the job just fine.

Broccoli Apple Winter Salad in a bowlWinter is not usually the time of the year we eat lots of raw food dishes, so I named this salad Broccoli-Apple WINTER Salad to prove that the opposite is quite possible! I love that this recipe calls for the ingredients that can easily be found in most grocery stores in the winter.

Another thing I love about this salad – it’s so versatile! You can easily assemble little lettuce ‘tacos’ and serve them as appetizers, or wrap some of this salad into a large tortilla with some lettuce to make a light but filling burrito.

I also made a pita bread sandwich for my husband using this salad – no pictures here because he wolfed down that sandwich in no time! Pretty amazing for a man who didn’t eat broccoli at all only a year ago!

Broccoli Apple Winter Salad BurritoWondering what I made for last year’s potluck? Here’s a link to my VVP 2013 contribution – Classic Russian Borscht, veganized!

Yield: 8 tacos

Vegan Broccoli Apple Salad ‘Tacos’ with Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing

These light but filling vegan broccoli apple salad 'tacos' call for nutrient-dense (read: healthy) raw ingredients that are easy to find in most grocery stores in the winter. Use red lettuce leaves as taco shells to wow your guests at a holiday party, or scoop it into burritos or sandwiches for a quick lunch at work.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 c broccoli, florets and stems, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 c apple, chopped into ½-inch cubes (I used a Fuji apple)
  • ¼ c chopped red onion
  • 1 -2 Tbsp hulled sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional)

Pumpkin Seed Dressing:

  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
  • ½ tsp garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch paprika
  • ½ c water

To serve:

  • 8 red lettuce leaves
  • Lemon or lime wedges


To make the dressing:

  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or a food processor and blend on high until a smooth paste forms, about 2-4 min. Scrape down the walls of the blender bowl if needed. If the mixture appears too thick, add 1-2 tbsp water. Taste and adjust the flavors, adding more lemon juice or seasoning if needed. Makes about 2/3 cup.

To make the salad:

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing, mix it in until uniform. Taste and adjust flavors if needed.

To assemble the ‘tacos’:

  1. Arrange clean lettuce leaves on a platter. Top each leaf with a small scoop of the salad mixture. Serve with lemon or lime wedges to squeeze on top of each ‘taco’ if needed. Enjoy!
  2. Alternatively, this salad can be wrapped into a burrito using a large tortilla, served on top of a warmed pita bread, scooped into sandwiches, etc.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 taco

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

Please note that the provided nutritional information data is approximate.

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This post was originally a part of 2014 Virtual Vegan Potluck party. See the list of all blogs that participated over here.

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author avatar
Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats
Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Eventually she embraced veganism as a way to be kinder to fellow living beings and the environment. Alina hopes that this blog helps its readers on their path to becoming vegan and making this world a better place.


Tuesday 15th of December 2015

I don't see a measuring amount for the raw pumpkin seeds in the dressing. Is it 1/2 cup?

Thanks for a great looking recipe!


Wednesday 16th of December 2015

Thanks Jennifer! Yes, it's 1/2 cup.

Keely @ Gormandize

Saturday 27th of December 2014

Thanks for bringing these lovely tacos to the VVP!

Willow Moon

Tuesday 16th of December 2014

I just want to give you and your website a big thank you. I entered a contest awhile back on your site, before I started my own website. It was here that I saw the Virtual Vegan Potluck button, and out of curiosity, checked it out. So, because of that button, I participated in the potluck as well. Thanks!


Wednesday 17th of December 2014

That's wonderful, Willow, glad my blog inspired you to start your own site and participate in the VVP! Good luck on your blogging journey!


Tuesday 16th of December 2014

This looks amazing! I'm trying to incorporate more raw foods into my plant based diet and this looks like the perfect salad :D


Tuesday 16th of December 2014

Thank you Emilie! You'll be surprised how quickly this salad comes together - perfect for a busy day/night!


Sunday 14th of December 2014

YUM! Great combo - so keen to try this out :)


Sunday 14th of December 2014

Thanks Margaux, let me know how you like it!

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