Carrot noodle salad with zesty sunflower seed dressing (vegan, gluten-free)

Happy New Year to all! One of my favorite things about a new beginning is reflecting on the ups and downs of the previous year, setting new goals, and rethinking old commitments. My thoughts on 2014 included some reflection on my experience writing for It’s a Veg World After All, the new friends and connections I’ve made along the way, and the excitement I get out of sharing my veggie-filled meals with all of you. It’s safe to say this experience has been one of the highlights of my first year out of college, and I’m thrilled to begin another year on this blog 🙂

…Ok, enough of me getting sentimental…now on to today’s recipe. I know I catch myself saying this more often than not, but seriously guys, this dish is REALLY my new favorite! From the colors to the flavors to the texture, I’m in straight up l-o-v-e. The gorgeous, delectable carrot noodles that make up the basis of this dish, made by the brand new spiralizer my sister gave me for Christmas (thanks again, Kris!), give just the right amount of crunch. Add in some edamame and sunflower seeds, and you got yourself a filling and nutritious meal in no time at all. Now that sounds like a great way to start off 2015, doesn’t it?

Carrot Noodle Salad with Zesty Sunflower Seed Dressing (vegan, gluten-free)
I mean…who can resist these colors?! Special shoutout to my sister (again) and Eli for letting me borrow their chopsticks for my photos…
Carrots 1

For the salad-
5 carrots (I used purple, yellow, red, and orange ones to get the mix of colors), sliced into spiral noodles
1/2 cup edamame beans, shelled
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
For the dressing-
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Juice of 1/2-1 lime
Pinch of sea salt
Carrots 4

In a large mixing bowl, combine spiralized carrots, edamame, sunflower seeds, and cilantro. As I mentioned earlier, I used a spiralizer to the carrots into the shape you see in my pictures, but you may also use a vegetable grater to peel the carrots into small (and shorter) noodle-like pieces. In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until smooth. Pour dressing over the salad and mix until all ingredients are coated. Serve, enjoy, and save the leftovers for lunch all week 🙂
Carrots 2 Carrots 3

Have a happy and healthy week y’all! Are you following It’s a Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter yet?!