The Sweet Tomatoes salad is an ode to the best soup and salad chain that will ever grace this planet. This meal is a simple elevated vegan garden salad that I promise you’ll never get tired of.
There was something for everybody at Sweet Tomatoes
Who else already misses Sweet Tomatoes? Ironically, it was one of the last places I dined at before the world decided to explode. For those of you who aren’t from the western part of the country, Sweet Tomatoes was the best soup and salad bar restaurant under the sun. And just weeks after most of the country mandated staying at home, the company announced that they had to close their doors for good.
Despite the gallons of ranch dressing and little servings of cheese pizza, Sweet Tomatoes was a beloved chain among many vegans, myself included. While the salad was and always will be my jam, I also to loved experimenting with sides.
For instance, one of my favorite creative things to do was pour black bean soup all over a sweet potato and add some red pepper flakes from the spaghetti bar. I never took for granted the access to the little Smart Balance butter containers, or if I caught a slice of fresh bread.
If you were a Sweet Tomatoes fan and went wild on the sides, I’d love to hear what your favorite items were. Let me know in the comments below!
An elevated Sweet Tomatoes salad
Sweet Tomatoes salad is an ode to the salad I used to make whenever dining in at the now-defunct restaurant. With the exception of fresh dill and homemade parsley and dill salad dressing, the rest of this salad’s ingredients were regular items you could find at the salad bar.
During my Sweet Tomatoes hay days, I would sneak in my own homemade dressing which makes this salad actually representative of my past Sweet Tomatoes salads. I know I’m not the only vegan who did this either. I even know of one guy who used to bring his own vegan croutons!
Despite using the same ingredients, this Sweet Tomatoes salad tastes much fresher than the one I remember. Perhaps it’s that the ingredients haven’t been sitting in a tub all day, or maybe it’s that my grocery store sells better produce – probably a combination of the two now that I think about it.
What ingredients do you need to make Sweet Tomatoes salad?
Look here’s the thing, if you were a regular Sweet Tomatoes customer, I don’t have to tell you what to do. Simply buy your favorite ingredients and slap it all together. But if you’re actually here for this delicious looking recipe, I’m here to fork it over.
For my perfect Sweet Tomatoes salad, you’ll first need some greens. I elevated this salad a little bit by including baby kale in addition to spring mix. You’ll also need some canned chickpeas, some small tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, carrot ribbons, some dill sprigs, red onion, purple cabbage, sunflower seeds, and salt and pepper. For the dressing, you can use your favorite or go with my parsley and dill salad dressing.
How do you make Sweet Tomatoes salad?
To make Sweet Tomatoes salad, you’ll need a knife, a cutting board, and a potato peeler. Despite using all of the ingredients located on a Sweet Tomatoes salad bar, I ended up slicing and dicing the ingredients a little differently. One of my few gripes about Sweet Tomatoes is that their vegetables were never cut up enough. The cucumbers were mega thick, the tomatoes were an entire bite, and don’t get me started about the broccoli.
The tomatoes, I halved, and the carrots, I ribboned. You can make your own ribbon carrots with a potato peeler. I also chose to slice each cucumber into quarters to avoid that awkward bite where you are trying to fit an entire cucumber slice in your mouth. Nobody wants that.
Honestly, this recipe is super simple. First, drain and rinse your chickpeas. Then, slice some cucumber, red onion, red cabbage, and tomatoes. Place those on top of a bed of greens along with carrot ribbons, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, fresh dill sprigs, and salt and pepper.
Lastly, dress it up with your favorite salad dressing. As mentioned previously, I went with my super fresh and delicious parsley and dill salad dressing, but you can use whatever dressing is your fave. And there you go! You made a Sweet Tomatoes salad! Easy peasy.
This is just the beginning…
There were literally hundreds of items on the Sweet Tomatoes salad bar. Please don’t hesitate to make this salad everything you wanted it to be and more.
Add an avocado: Yes, we know avocado is extra, Sweet Tomatoes! Get fancy and add some avocado to your salad.
Nooch it up: I love adding nooch to salads, and this Sweet Tomatoes salad is no exception. In fact, I’m sure I’ve snuck nooch into Sweet Tomatoes at some point in my life. Sprinkle some nutritional yeast flakes on top of your Sweet Tomatoes salad for a cheesy nutty kick.
Add more vegetables or use different ones: Look, this is MY Sweet Tomatoes salad, but I’m sure you have your own special routine. Use my salad as an inspiration to create your ultimate combination.
Serve it salad bar style: If you’re making this meal for more than just yourself, assemble the ingredients in a salad bar style fashion. Add more ingredients to the salad bar to encourage creativity among your friends and family.
Salad is the color of my energy
I effing love salad. If you are inspired by my Sweet Tomatoes salad and want to check out other ideas, consider these delicious salads for your next meal.
In this segment, I suggest a song for you to listen to while you make Sweet Tomatoes salad! You can even stream it right here in your browser. Today’s recipe jam is Sports Man by Haruomi Hosono. Special thank you to my pal Davina for introducing this artist to me!
If you try this recipe, I want to hear about it! Feel free to post your creations to Instagram or Facebook and tag Hell Yes It’s Vegan or #hellyesitsvegan. I look forward to seeing what you make!
Sweet Tomatoes Salad
- 8 cups greens – I used half spring mix half baby kale
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 thin slices red onion
- 10 small tomatoes, cut in half
- 4 inches cucumber, quartered and sliced
- 1 large carrot, ribboned using a potato peeler
- ½ cup parsley and dill salad dressing, (or your favorite salad dressing)
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 4 Tbsp fresh dill
- sea salt and pepper to taste, (optional)
- Assemble salad. Using a large serving bowl or tray, add greens, chickpeas, red cabbage, red onion, small tomato halves, and carrot ribbons.
- Dress with parsley and dill salad dressing or your favorite substitution and top with sunflower seeds and fresh dill. Optionally add salt and pepper to taste.