Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette


Thankgiving is just around the corner! If you need vegan recipe ideas take a look at my menu from last year. I have many vegan Thanksgiving recipes in my blog archives including my favorite Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites. This Brussels sprouts salad is so easy and delicious. You don’t have to cook your Brussels sprouts, which makes it really fast. I bought pre-shredded Brussels sprouts to save on time. If you are prepping and shredding them by hand, it will add at least 30 minutes to your prep time. Cut off the stems and then cut each Brussels sprout lengthwise. Then toss them in a bowl to allow the layers to separate. You can also use the shredding blade of your food processor, which will make it quicker. I found pre-shredded Brussels sprouts at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. This salad has a slightly sweet taste because of the maple syrup in the pumpkin vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is refreshing and light with delicious pumpkin flavor.
The Marcona almonds are just so scrumptious. They add a delightful crunch and balance out the sweetness. Roasted Marcona almonds taste more like macadamia nuts. The pumpkin spice, maple syrup, and salt combine to make a fantastic sweet and savory flavor combination. Toasting them in the oven really brings out the flavors and crunchiness. I could munch on these almonds all day long! I prefer Marcona almonds in this recipe because of their unique flavor and texture vs. regular almonds, but regular almonds would also be quite delicious! This refreshing, light salad is great to balance out a heavy Thanksgiving meal. Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts are a great, high fiber substitute for other salad greens. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Let me know if you make any of my Thanksgiving recipes by taking a picture and tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Facebook and Instagram or Pin the recipe on Pinterest!


Here are some additional vegan Thanksgiving recipes:
Seitan and Mushroom Wellington

Truffled Purple Mashed Potatoes 

Teff Jalapeño Bread

Quinoa Stuffing with Pumpkin Seeds and Cranberries

Garlic Rosemary Gravy (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Lentil and Quinoa Loaf

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Bourbon Spiked Vanilla Pudding (vegan)

Pumpkin Oat Bars

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 12 cups shredded Brussels sprouts (24 oz)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbs pumpkin puree
  • For the roasted pumpkin spice Marcona almonds:
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • olive oil spray


Preheat oven to 350F. Spray baking sheet olive oil spray and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, toss Marcona almonds with olive oil, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice. Check to make sure almonds are coated evenly. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Next, prepare the vinaigrette. Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, and pumpkin puree until smooth. In a large serving bowl, toss Brussels Sprouts with vinaigrette. Top with cranberries and Marcona almonds and serve. May store in the fridge for up to 1-2 days.



Vegan Panzanella Salad


Summer is the best time of year in Chicago! We have a multitude of parks that host free movies and live music all summer long. One of my favorite summer activities is packing a picnic and sitting on the lawn of Grant Park. The backdrop of the city skyline combined with fresh air, the sounds of a full orchestra, friends and family, and delicious food makes for a perfect evening! Panzanella is one of my favorite summer salads to bring on a picnic. I love French bread, fresh herbs, and really good olive oil. All of the fresh ingredients along with the red wine vinaigrette make this salad really tasty. You can use 1 day old, crusty French bread or toast fresh bread in the oven to make sure it doesn’t get too soggy once it’s in the salad. The bread should have a chewy (not soggy) consistency once it absorbs the dressing. I used vegan mozzarella by Follow Your Heart that I found at Whole Foods but you could also use extra firm tofu as a substitute. The capers add salty flavor and the bright, multi-colored heirloom tomatoes are just bursting with sweet flavor. There are several variations of this salad. You could add red and yellow peppers for tangy crispness. There’s also a version that adds arugula for a spicy kick. I think this dish is really satisfying and often have it as a light meal. It goes really well with most white wines or even rose. This recipe is so simple and super easy to assemble. If you make it, let me know how it turns out! Tag your picture with @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram and Facebook or Pin It on Pinterest!


Fresh, simple ingredients!

Vegan Panzanella Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 (6oz) French demi baguette, cut into 1.5 inch pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 1 lb grape heirloom tomoatoes, halved
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 (10oz) package vegan mozzarella cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces (such as Follow Your Heart brand)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs capers
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 300F. Cut bread into 1.5 inch cubes and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 300F for about 13-15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and set aside to cool. Next, make the dressing: whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl toss bread with dressing and combine well. Let bread absorb dressing for about 5 minutes. Next, add tomatoes, cucumbers, vegan mozzarella, onion, capers, basil, and oregano and combine well. Salad is best if consumed within 24 hours.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per 1/6 of Vegan Panzanella: 307 cal


Watercress and Arugula Salad (with video)



Spring is a great time to try new things. This week, I signed up for Core Power Yoga. I’m terrible at yoga and much prefer pilates but one of my good friends talked me into trying it again… wish me luck! I also decided to try some new ingredients this week. I eat a lot of salad and get bored with it easily. Browsing through the produce aisle at the grocery store gave me the inspiration to put this salad together. I saw some really fresh looking watercress and dill. Both of these sounded delicious. I like my salad to have a variety of textures and colors. I also like to have more “toppings” compared to greens. By toppings I mean fresh vegetables, herbs, legumes, nuts, and maybe even some fresh fruit. It’s so easy to buy great, vegan salad dressing at the grocery store but there’s something really satisfying about making your own at home. Salad dressing is so easy to make and the leftover dressing can be easily stored to be used throughout the week. The dressing for this salad is surprisingly simple yet tasty. Using high quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vingar will makes this dressing even better. The video below shows how to put this meal together easily. I like to wash and prep all of my vegetables the day I bring them home. Otherwise, I lose motivation to prepare them during the week. Making a salad every day is so easy when everything is ready to go when you’re ready to eat. I’m a huge fan of how the French serve meals at cafes – greens are included with everything. I try to eat greens at least once a day, every day, whether they’re in a smoothie, salad, or sauteed with vegan protein. I hope you love this salad as much as I do! Be sure to tag @thefriendlyepicurean if you make it and don’t forget to watch the 1 minute how-to video below!

Watercress and Arugula Salad

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


    For the salad:
  • 2 cups (about 5oz) watercress (thick stems removed)
  • 6 cups (1, 5oz package)  baby arugula
  • 1, 16oz package mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4 to 6 small radishes, sliced
  • 1 medium sized cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegan ricotta cheese (such as Kite Hill brand)
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 fresh dill weed (thick stems removed)
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
Prepare the salad:
In a large bowl, toss arugula and watercress with about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup dressing depending on preference. Top with tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, edamame, avocado, vegan ricotta cheese, pistachios, and dill weed. Serve immediately. May store extra dressing in an airtight container for 5 to 7 days. Makes 1 cup dressing. Makes about 8 cups salad.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per cup: 222 cal
  • Approximate calories per 1/6 salad: 295 cal