Salad Samurai Recipe and Giveaway

Salad Samurai

Award-winning chef and Veganomicon coauthor Terry Hope Romero knows her veggies. In Salad Samurai, she’s back to teach you the way of the veggie warrior, rescuing salads from their bland, boring reputation and “side” status with more than 100 vibrant, filling entrees. This is our guide to real salads:  a hearty base, a zesty dressing, and loads of terrific tasting toppings. Based on whole food ingredients and seasonal produce, Terry’s versatile meatless, dairy-free dishes are organized by season so you’ll have  a full year of memorable meals Salad rocks my world every season, even during the coldest days of winter and Terry has given me many more choices.  Produce is seasonal, so it makes total sense to organize salad recipes by season. I don’t like seeing  butternut squash salads on menus in in the middle of July, do you? And I’m not ready for so called dishes featuring watermelmelon in deep winter.

With so many vegan and plant-centric cookbooks on the market today, Salad Samurai is definitely a standout in the bunch. The book is well-designed and organized logically, and filled with I-have-to-make-this kind of photographs. The creative recipes read delicious and easy to make.  Terry begins the book with important basics, such as meal planning, recommended kitchen equipment, how to press tofu, and a glossary of ingredients that might not be familiar to the vegan newbie. The first chapters are where you will find the dressings and salad toppers, which include marinated tofu, homemade croutons, and even a hemp seed parmesan.

I have a copy of this gorgeous cookbook to send to one lucky winner. Enter the giveaway, which you will find after the recipe. Believe me, if you don’t already have a copy, you want one. If you do have a copy, enter anyway and give it to a person you love.

You can see Terry at Vida Vegan Con in May… and me too.


Asparagus Pad Thai Salad

Asparagus Pad Thai Salad

Serves: 2

Time: 45 minutes

Put down that wok and pick up a veggie peeler for this fusion of raw culinary technique (shredding asparagus or zucchini into “noodles”), cooked rice noodles, and a dressing of caramelized shallots for a lighter, veggie-loaded twist on that beloved Thai noodle dish.

Pad Thai Salad

  • 4 ounces Pad Thai rice noodles
  • 12 pound asparagus
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts, washed and dried
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 recipe Lemongrass Tofu (page 43)
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
  • Lime wedges and Sriracha, for serving

Toasted Shallot Dressing

  • 14 cup minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 14 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or organic brown sugar, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for serving


  1. Boil the rice noodles according to package directions and cook only until al dente (1 or 2 minutes less than directed). Drain, rinse with cold water, and cover with cold water until ready to use.
  2. Wash and trim the tough stem ends from the asparagus. Trim the heads from the asparagus and set aside. Use a Y-shaped peeler to shred the asparagus stalks into long ribbons and slice into thin strips the remaining pieces that are too awkward to shred. Transfer the asparagus ribbons to a mixing bowl and add the mung bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, and scallions.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, fry the shallots, garlic, ginger, and oil until the shallots are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus tips, sauté 1 minute, remove from the heat, and cool for 2 minutes. Transfer the asparagus tip mixture to the bowl with the ribbons. Drain the rice noodles and add to the asparagus salad.
  4. Whisk together the lime juice, sugar, tamarind, and soy sauce and pour over the salad. Toss to coat everything with dressing. Mound the salad in serving bowls and garnish with strips of Lemongrass Tofu and sprinkle with peanuts. Devour, but graciously offer wedges of lime, Sriracha, a small dish of coconut sugar, and soy sauce for dining companions to season their own dish to taste.

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

Replace the rice noodles with homemade zucchini or yellow summer squash noodles for an even lighter dish. You’ll need a little more than 12 pound of squash. Use the Y-shaped peeler to create long, thin strands similar to the asparagus “noodles” for the above salad. Proceed as directed.

Plan ahead like a samurai: prepare the Lemongrass Tofu a day in advance and heat up just before serving.


From Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

I have a copy of Salad Samurai for one lucky reader. Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. and Canadian residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight eastern time on April 19, 2015. Good luck!
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