The Big Salad

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 10, 2013


If I owned a restaurant one of my main priorities would be to ban wimpy salads from the menu. It would be a Big Salad Only Zone enforced with salads the size of my head! *insert evil cackle* Salads that dreams are made of. We’ve all been presented with that sad restaurant salad garnished a few tomatoes and onions on top of a pitiful bowl of wilted lettuce. So tragic, isn’t it? The worst is when they have the nerve to charge $10 for such a thing. It’s just about enough to make a grown woman or man cry.

Let’s stop this insanity before it’s too late. I’ve created a petition…(just kidding!!).

How about offering a salad that’s satisfying enough to be a full meal rather than a disappointing side? Why not create something customers will rave about to their friends and bring in more business? I know it sounds crazy, but it just might work. Many restaurants already do meal-sized salads with great success; we just need to make hearty vegan salads more common on menus everywhere!



This salad is one I’d love to see on a menu at a local restaurant. A large bed of chopped romaine forms the base followed by rows of julienned carrots, red pepper, carrots, cilantro, toasted sliced almonds, and warm & comforting roasted sweet potato rounds. I just love beautiful food. Roasted sweet potato is a comforting, stick-to-your-ribs addition and a nice temperature contrast to the cool, raw veggies. My creamy almond butter maple lime dressing brings it all together. See the bottom of the recipe for other salad dressing suggestions if you are looking for options.

On the side, I served it with my Super Power Chia Bread spread with coconut oil. It’s a satisfying, delightful lunch that really goes the distance!

Restaurants: your move.


5 from 6 reviews

The Big Salad

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free


A hearty & vibrant chopped salad paired with a sweet and tangy almond butter maple lime dressing. Please note the measurements for the salad are approximate. Add as much or as little of each vegetable as you desire!

3 salads (estimate only)
Prep time
Cook time


For the salad:
  • 1 large sweet potato, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 head romaine, chopped, washed, and spun dry
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • handful or two of cilantro leaves, chopped (or try parsley)
For the dressing (makes 1/2-2/3 cup):
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup raw almond butter (or roasted peanut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup (or other sweetener), to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat the sweet potato slices with coconut or grapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping once half way through baking, until lightly charred and fork tender.
  2. Prepare salad dressing. Mince garlic clove in a mini food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients. Process until smooth. Note that the dressing will seem thin at first, but it will thicken up as it sits.
  3. Add chopped romaine into a large bowl. Layer on the vegetables (and almonds) in rows, if desired. Or simply mix everything together. Drizzle on dressing and enjoy!

Nutrition Information


For other dressing options, see: Lemon-Tahini Dressing, Cashew Lemon Tahini dressing, or Balsamic Vinaigrette



Cheers to Big Salads…and old reruns of Seinfeld. They never get old.

“But you had to have the BIG SALAD!!” – George Costanza

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

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Alicia September 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Angela, it’s really nice to find these simple, yet delicious vegan salad dressings on your blog. I’ve had a hard time in the past finding salad dressings that are both healthy AND tasty. Looking forward to trying this one. Keep ’em coming!


Rebecca September 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I love that this is what I’m reading right now as I’m sitting here enjoying a nice big as my head salad for lunch. I think some people think that salads are either to lose weight or to fill in the meal. I disagree I eat salads because they are an awesome way to combine some really yummy ingredients. Todays salad is mustard greens, romaine, yellow and orange peppers with orange slices. The sweet peppers and orange help balance out that spice from the mustard greens and the oranges are so juicy you don’t need a dressing. You can blog about salads any day of the week :)


Crista September 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm

!!!!!! That is a BIG salad! Good job.


Alexina September 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

I made some sweet potatoes how you describe here- with the coconut oil and S+P- they were AMAZING. I had never tried making sweet potatoes like that before! I actually ate them as a side with your spicy BBQ chickpea burgers, which I cooked for my boyfriend and myself. He, a meat-eater, said it was an awesome meal and made him feel full without weighing him down- success! Thank you, Angela!


Kathy September 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Oh my goodness, that dressing is AMAZING (and so are you!!)


Maryam javadi September 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

It looks fantastic.


Ellen September 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Yummm!!! That was wonderful!! It was so good I have dressing in my hair!! I have been following for a while but first time commenting. You have the best plant based recipes. Thanks for your great work.


Ashley September 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Can’t get over this dressing! Absolutely amazing. I used stevia for the sweetener, and it only needed a pinch. I think the sesame oil adds something special, so add it if you have it!


Kate September 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I L-O-V-E this salad!!! I’ve been longing for a hearty, satisfying, easy-to-make salad dressing and this hits the spot. My husband is also crazy about this salad (especially the sweet potatoes and dressing!). Thank you for sharing this amazing, satisfying salad!


Jenna October 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm

This is one of my favorite recipes. The dressing is absolutely amazing- I substituted raw honey for the maple syrup, and since I didn’t have a food processor just minced everything and whisked it. Thanks Angela for this revelation!


Jessica October 3, 2013 at 4:01 am

This dressing is amazing!!!! We are going into summer here in Australia so I’m looking forward to enjoying many of your salads :) you know how to cook healthy food that’s actually delicious.


Helen October 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Hi Angela,
I have become a HUGE fan of yours! I made this salad last week when my brother and his family were visiting. My brother is usually quite picky, but Loved this salad! I made sweet potato fry wedges, seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion powder, and cinnamon, and placed them around the edges of the mixed salad. It was beautiful, and there was not a drop left. Thanks for an amazing salad dressing!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 24, 2013 at 7:26 am

Hi Helen, I’m so happy it was enjoyed! Thanks for your lovely comment :)


Roy December 5, 2013 at 9:12 am

This is labeled as raw/oil free, yet you have baking and oil in this recipe making both of those statements false.


Ariel January 17, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Thank you for your blog (I found it today!). I used to be vegan, then became vegetarian. I have been vegetarian for over a decade now, but am re-thinking the vegan option.

Finding your website has helped push me from the thinking phase, and into the action phase. I appreciate your contribution to my journey. Looking at your site, I conclude that if I really do want to eat like I mean it, then I have to eat like I want to be dynamically alive. For me, to be dynamically alive means that I must choose my food options intentionally.

I see from your blog that you are an intentional person with food, and I really, really appreciate that. Thank you for your contribution to the evolving people, and an evolving planet. :-)


Brooke September 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm
Recipe Rating:

Brought this salad and dressing to a Labor Day picnic, it was a huge hit. People were asking me for the salad dressing recipie they enjoyed it so much. I followed the recipie for the most part, the only change I made was adding a jalepeno to the salad dressing (mainly because I had a ton on hand for the garden this summer, and I love sweet with a little heat).


trish September 11, 2015 at 11:28 am
Recipe Rating:

very nice!


Lacey September 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm
Recipe Rating:

So good Angela!! I left off the onion, used chopped instead of sliced almonds, and added roasted chickpeas for added substance. Definitely a keeper and repeat recipe.

Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes, it’s so nice to have a place to go where I know every recipe I try will be amazing :)


Addie August 1, 2016 at 11:00 am
Recipe Rating:

Loved this salad. We had it for dinner last night. Every one of your recipes that we’ve tried, we have loved. Thank you!


Angela Liddon August 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

So glad it was a hit, Addie!


Marianne January 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is a gorgeous salad! I made the dressing and it’s hands down the BEST almond butter dressing I’ve ever tried, it has a great balance of flavors. I could have eaten it by the spoonful. Thanks!


Angela Liddon January 3, 2017 at 9:34 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Marianne!


Celine April 5, 2017 at 3:06 am

Hi, I just read your quotes about Seinfeld and Elaine’s big salad and what George says as I am watching Dinner with Dad with Jason Alexander and his real life son Gabriel Greenspan (by the way, never knew Alexander is not Jason’s real last name). I just found this a quirky coincidence. Watching Dinner with Dad got me thinking of big salads and yours looks fantastic and I am sure I will make it!


Delaney September 23, 2017 at 11:04 am

Does the dressing need to be refrigerated if I made extra? I made it with sunflower butter so as to make it nut free!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm

Yes it should be stored in the fridge, and it’ll probably be good for 4-8 days (just guessing!) Happy salad eating!


Josephine December 10, 2017 at 2:55 am

Looks delicious! Which ‘tool’ do you use to cut your carrots?


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 10, 2017 at 8:02 am

I use a Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler (and sometimes I use my veggie spiralizer)


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