Sunflower Sprouts Salad w/Avocado-Basil-Green onion Dressing

I love the #zerowasteplate initiative by this organization called “No Food Waste Chennai”. They do great work by raising awareness of growing food waste. Check them out on Instagram.

Growing up in a largely agricultural country with limited resources, I now realize how progressive my ancestors were, and how thankful I am that these habits are instilled in me through my culture.

Modern movements like recycling and reusing may appear new, but have been practiced by billions of people from times beyond comprehension in these parts of the world. When we say life comes full circle, it truly does, because what deeply ancient and ethnic cultures have been practicing in other parts of the world for over thousands of years is only now reaching the west, appropriated as a new concept.

To highlight their valiant effort, I’m sharing this sunflower sprouts salad. It’s simple and refreshing. I’ve used some of my own backyard garden grown sunflower sprouts, along with cucumbers, corn all tossed in a homemade avocado-basil-green onion dressing.

I was asked to highlight a few habits that reduce waste:
1. Using all parts of the vegetable when possible. The peels to make chutneys and sauces; the greens, like carrot and beet tops, used as a vegetable itself.
2. I buy damaged veggies (not rotten, but damaged and deemed ugly). When it comes to produce, shiny and waxy is not my preference.
3. I use as few pots, pans and spatulas as possible. My mom always says, why use 5 when you can use 2.
4. We’re dabbling in home gardening. We use seeds, roots and sprouts from existing veggies to grow more to eventually live as sustainably as possible.
5. And now more than ever for our garden, composting is important. We never throw food waste away.

I’d love it if you spread this initiative around, and comment below on what ‘no food waste’ means to you! ♥️

For the salad:
3 cups sunflower sprouts, washed and drained
1 cucumber, sliced into half moons
1/2 cup fire roasted corn (I used a frozen bag, warmed to room temperature. you could use just regular corn)
For the avocado-basil-green onion dressing:
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup packed fresh basil
1/2 cup packed fresh green onions/scallions
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup water, reserve, if necessary

Method: Avocado-basil-green onion dressing:
Slice avocados in half and remove the seed. Scoop out all the flesh and transfer to a blender (or food processor). Add all the remaining ingredients, along with a few teaspoons of water. Blend by pulsing a few times. Check for consistency and add more water as necessary. Given this is a salad dressing, it shouldn’t be too thick like a sauce. It should be a pourable, yet creamy and luscious texture.

Refrigerate in an air container and store in the fridge for a couple of days. If you skip the avocado, and add other herbs instead, they’ll stay even longer!

For the salad:
Toss the sprouts, corn and cucumber together with as much dressing as you’d like and enjoy!

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