The Brook Cook: Say goodbye to boring salads


J. Hooker

Layered on a bed of fresh salad greens are beetroot hummus, black beans, and roasted sweet potato with warm flavors that make the perfect salad for this season. Incorporating raw and cooked vegetables to salads can make them more interesting and filling to eat.

Justine Hooker, Section Editor

  Salads have been known to get a bad rep. The overwhelmingness of vegetables on a never-ending sea of green tends to scare people away. Many assume that they are flavorless meals that taste like grass. These perceptions of salad are common, especially for junior Mary Carson Buffaloe who said, “I like to eat salads sometimes but not as my whole meal. I also have to be in the right mood to eat one, or otherwise it just tastes kind of dull.” The reality is that an improperly made salad can taste this way, but with a little love, it can be quite appetizing. With the pop-up of many customizable salad restaurants like Chopt or Sweetgreen, creative and delicious ideas on how to make salads have sparked. There are blends out there that you will love, make you excited to eat healthy, and actually feel full.

  There are several components to think about when building the right salad, including the type of lettuce, dressing, texture, and ingredients. The cohesiveness of each factor in the salad is important. You want to have a blend of textures, like crunch and wide arrangements of flavors.  Since we are getting into the colder months, it may be a little harder to enjoy a salad when the weather makes us crave something warm. A few additions of roasted vegetables and creamy dressings can make a world of a difference. Here is a recipe for a salad filled with grains, vegetables, and topped with a delicious tahini dressing.



*two and a half cups of kale

*one half of a sweet potato

*half cup of quinoa


*salt and pepper

*two tbsp of tahini

*quarter cup of chickpeas

*half cup of broccoli

*olive oil


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 °F.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into one- inch cubes, and drain and rinse your chickpeas from the can. 
  3. On a baking tray, lay your sweet potatoes and broccoli down in separate areas, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a separate bowl, drizzle the chickpeas with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Next, add the chickpeas to the baking tray with the sweet potatoes and broccoli.
  5. Put the tray into the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. 
  6. While those veggies are roasting, cook the quinoa. Put the dry quinoa into a small pot with one cup of water. When the water has boiled, bring it to a simmer, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until it is fluffy.
  7. While everything is cooking, cut your kale and place in your desired bowl. 
  8. To make the dressing, mix 2-3 tbsp of tahini with juice from half a lemon. Next, massage the dressing into the kale with clean hands to evenly coat it.
  9. When everything is ready, assemble by mixing all the ingredients with the kale, or put the roasted veggies and chickpeas on top of kale and drizzle a little extra dressing.

  This salad offers crunch from the chickpeas, softness from the sweet potato, and creaminess from the dressing. I hope this recipe inspired you to give salads another try and rethink the way you perceive them. So get in the kitchen with The Brook’s Cook!