Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jicama Avocado Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Happy Vegan MoFo! We're on the downhill side of the Vegan Month of Food, but that doesn't mean we're coasting... I'm still whipping up easy, family-friendly recipes!

Speaking of families -- and we were, right? -- my blog is a contender for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Food Allergy Mom Blogs, and as we move into the last 24 hours of voting, I'd appreciate your vote! No registration is required -- just a click on the VOTE button here. That's it! So easy! Thank you in advance for your support!

Call me a freak, but I have a great appreciation for the "weird" vegetables so many people say they don't like. I suppose it all comes down to preparation, but I'm shocked when I hear folks say they don't care for squash, eggplant, beets, and other wonderful plant foods... Like jicama.

Jicama is entirely underrated, if you ask me. (And you did, right?) It's high in B vitamins and calcium. If you ask me, we should all be gorging on jicama. It's typically eaten raw, and finds itself on veggie platters or sprinkled with lime juice and dusted with chili powder.

It was raining, but I wanted the natural light for these photos!

I'm quite accustomed to seeing jicama of the one- to two-pound size, but my last visit to the produce section offered Goliath-sized vegetables (three and a quarter pounds!) -- more than I could possibly cut up for school lunches with any hope of consumption before going bad.

So, I whipped out my mandoline (the phrase "whipped out my mandoline" makes me feel gangsta) and created a salad. A yummy one.

Jicama Avocado Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

4 c. shredded jicama (I used my mandoline; you can use a vegetable grater, if desired)
2 large carrots, grated
2 medium to large avocados, pitted, peeled and cubed

12 - 14 fresh ripe strawberries, rinsed with tops removed
1/8 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive or canola oil
1/8 t. ground ginger
2 - 4 T. cane juice crystals or natural sugar (adjust to sweetness of berries and taste)

1 T. black sesame or poppy seeds

Baby spinach leaves

In a large bowl, combine shredded jicama and grated carrot, tossing to mix.

Add cubed avocado. Don't mix, yet. The avocado is more fragile, so we'll only mix it once, after pouring on the dressing.

In a blender, combine strawberries, balsamic vinegar, oil, ginger and cane juice crystals and puree until cane juice crystals dissolve.

Immediately pour strawberry vinaigrette over jicama, carrots and avocado.

Sprinkle with seeds, then gently toss all ingredients together, being careful not to "smoosh" the avocados.

Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves, and top with cut strawberries.

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