This indulgent and healthy Vegan Big Mac Salad is sure to bring all your dreams of fast food deliciousness without any guilt or sacrificing of the flavor!
¼ cup raw cashews
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon organic maple syrup
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon low-sodium vegetable broth *
1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari *
2 Tablespoons tahini
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon sea salt *
½ teaspoon ground mustard
1 – [ 14 oz. can ] lentils, drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth *
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari *
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried mustard powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
1/8 teaspoon black pepper *
Shredded lettuce *
red onions, small dice
Hamburger-style dill chips (pickles), chopped *
Grape tomatoes, sliced in half
WFPB Burger Buns, chopped and baked like a crouton (optional, not shown in the photos)
Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with boiling water, set aside for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, add all the remaining Dressing Ingredients into a high-speed blender, set aside.
After 20 minutes, discard the water from the cashews. Add the cashews into the high-speed blender with all the other ingredients, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Place all the Lentil Ingredients into a small sauce pan, stir well to dissolve the tomato paste, cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, then remove from the stove and set aside.
Salad Assemble Instructions:
Shred lettuce, then place into a large bowl, add the diced red onion, halved grape tomatoes, and chopped dill pickles. Mix well. Top with cooked lentils and a dollop of dressing. Mix the salad really well to ensure everything is nicely coated with the dressing. Taste test to see if more dressing is needed. Serve!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS:
Amount of Lettuce: You can use as little or as much shredded lettuce as you like. We suggest starting low on the salad dressing and taste testing as you go by adding more dressing as needed. You can also add more dressing on individual servings, if needed. We used approx. 8 to 10 cups of shredded lettuce (measured after shredding).
Mixing the Salad: We feel that in order to get that Big Mac flavor, you need to place the salad ingredients (lettuce, pickles, onions, tomatoes and cooked lentils) into a large bowl, then mix the salad dressing in. Toss the salad until all the salad ingredients are nicely coated with the dressing. Taste Test. Add more dressing as needed.
Warm Lentils: You can add the lentils warm or cold. We feel that the warm (or room temperature) lentils in the cold salad are a delicious textural combination and are more reminiscent of a Big Mac.
Shredding the Lettuce: Big Macs traditionally have shredded lettuce. While it is easy to just use hand torn lettuce, we felt the shredding of the lettuce really drove home that Big Mac texture and flavor. We highly recommend shredding the lettuce. We laid down the lettuce on the cutting board and shredded it with a chef’s knife. You can use as much or as little lettuce as you wish.
Ratio we enjoyed: About 8 to 10 cups of shredded lettuce (measure after shredding the lettuce), 1/3 cup small diced red onions, 1/3 cup chopped hamburger style pickles, 15 sliced grape tomatoes.
*Vegetable Stock: We use Low Sodium Pacific Organic Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
*Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Lettuce: We used a combination of iceberg lettuce with a sprinkle of Romaine.
*Hamburger Style Dill Chips: Find a hamburger style dill pickle (chips) then chop them into small pieces (diced) and sprinkle into the salad. It makes a huge difference as that dill pickle tang really gives the illusion of eating a Big Mac. Don’t leave them out!
*Lentils: We used Delallo Imported Italian Lentils. They come in a 14 oz. can. We buy them directly from Delallo. Most grocery stores carry them in the specialty aisles. If using dry lentils, select lentils that hold their shape after cooking. Cook dry lentils separately, adjust time accordingly. If cooking dry lentils, cook, then measure out 1 2/3 cups of cooked lentils.
*Makes: About 4 Servings (with some leftover dressing depending on how heavily you dress your salad)
*Storage: Refrigerate, use within 5-7 days (undressed)