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Sage Garden Blog

Brussels Sprout Winter Salad With Sweet & Spicy Walnuts

I’m thrilled to be sharing this first ever From Soil to Soul and Sage Garden collaboration recipe with you all! And just in time for the holiday season too. This is a dish I’m bringing to my Christmas Eve dinner with the in-laws, and I know it would make a great addition to your holiday dinners too.

Before we get into things, a bit about me. 

I’m Maggie, the creator of From Soil to Soul — a home and garden website helping you grow your best organic garden even in a short, cold growing season. You may recognize me from The Grow Guide podcast, which I co-host with Dave. We release new episodes each week and interview gardeners from across the country. Some of my most fav episodes feature Niki Jabbour from Savvy Gardening and Hilary Dahl from The Encyclopedia Botanica Podcast.

You can read my full bio here.

When I create recipes, I consider a few things:

  1. Is this something I would want to eat again and again? Only recipes that get an astounding YES get made.

  2. What inspired this dish? What have I eaten that is similar and how can I elevate my recipe further?


I was served a salad very similar to this when on my honeymoon a few years back on Salt Spring Island in B.C. I loved the texture the Brussels sprouts added when used in lieu of lettuce greens. But I felt the salad was missing something…something crunchy.

And so in came my own twist on the salad, adding sweet and spicy roasted walnuts and crisp, crunchy apples!

I have made variations of this recipe over the years and continue to tweak it each time it’s made. It can be changed even further by your own interpretation. Add additional kale to beef up the base, or pomegranate seeds to make it even more festive.

What’s Needed For This Recipe

Salad ingredients

  • Brussel Sprouts — You can likely find Canadian-grown Brussels sprouts at your local grocery store at time time of year. They’re a seasonal vegetable to eat during the Fall & Winter months. 

  • Ground Spices — You’ll need paprika, onion powder, onion powder, pepper and salt for this recipe.

  • Maple Syrup — Maple syrup is my favourite natural sweetener to cook with. It adds a really rich flavour to dishes but doesn’t have an overwhelming sweetness.

  • Nutritional Yeast — This is a staple ingredient in plant-based cooking. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavour and is often used as a cheese replacement in sauces and dressings. It can be found at your local health food store or down the Natural Foods aisle at most grocery stores.

Tools Needed For This Recipe

High Powered Blender or Food Processor — This is a must to make the dressing creamy and smooth. The base of this plant-based dressing is sunflower seeds and they need to be finely blended. I use a VitaMix blender, however any high powered blender will work. You could also finely pulse the sunflower seeds in a food processor first with 1-2 tsp of water before adding to your blender.

Salad dressing

Sharp Knife or Mandolin — Finely chopping the Brussels sprouts helps recreate the texture of kale or other traditional salad bases. I simply use a knife, cutting off the end root of the Brussels sprout and then finely dicing each one in thin pieces. Alternatively, you could use a mandolin to thinly shave each Brussels sprout (being careful of your fingers!). You could even use a cheese grater to create small pieces.

Salad - ingredients prepped

Oven — The roasted walnuts need to go in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. I like to place the walnuts on the middle rack of the oven. This ensures a even roast. Lining your baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper will also help prevent sticking.

Salad - walnuts

I hope you enjoy this winter salad. Happy Holidays!

Recipe: Brussel Sprout Winter Salad With Sweet & Spicy Walnuts

Salad - complete

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 8 


Sweet & Spicy Nuts:

  • 1 ½ cups of chopped walnuts

  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce or tamari for a gluten-free option

  • 1 ½ tsp of paprika

  • 1 tsp of garlic powder

  • 1 tsp of onion powder

  • ½ tsp of pepper

  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup

Creamy Dijon Dressing:

  • ½ cup of raw unsalted sunflower seeds (soaked in hot water for 1 hour minimum)

  • 2 tbsp of dijon mustard

  • 2 large garlic cloves

  • 4 tbsp of lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

  • 3 tsp of maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup of water

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 5 cups of finely chopped or shaved Brussels sprouts (this is approximately 1 large bag of full Brussels sprouts)

  • ½ red onion finely diced

  • 1 red apple julienned into thin strips

  • ½ cup of fresh chopped parsley 

  • ¼ cup of dried cranberries (optional)


  1. Start with soaking your sunflower seeds for the dressing. Place sunflower seeds into a small bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak for 1 hour minimum. To speed up soaking process, boil water in a kettle and pour over sunflower seeds. Let soak for 20 minutes minimum. Set aside as you prep the rest of you ingredients.

  2. Now, roast your walnuts. Preheat oven to 350°F. If walnuts are in large pieces, chop into smaller morsels. Then place chopped walnuts in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together soy sauce, maple syrup and spices. Pour over walnuts and mix well. Pour walnuts onto a baking sheet lined with either aluminum foil or parchment paper and place in the middle rack of your oven. Roast for 10 minutes then remove walnuts, flipping with a spatula. Drizzle with another 1 tbsp of maple syrup and put back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

  3. For the salad, finely chop your Brussels sprouts using either a sharp knife, mandolin or cheese grated. Be sure to first remove the end root of each Brussels sprout and any exterior browning leaves. Once chopped, you should have about 5 cups of Brussels sprouts. Next, finely chop red onion and julienne your apple. To julienne, use a sharp knife and cut apple in half then again in quarter. Take one quarter and cut it into another four slices. Take each slice and cut into 4-5 thin strips. Once all salad ingredients are chopped, add together to a large salad bowl.

  4. Next, make your salad dressing. Drain soaked sunflower seeds and pour into blender. Add in dijon mustard, garlic cloves, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, maple syrup and water. Blend on high speed for 30-45 seconds, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of your blender. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly. If dressing is too thick, add 1 tbsp of water at a time to thin until it’s at your desired consistency.

  5. Time to assemble the salad. Add half of the roasted walnuts and cranberries (optional) to raw vegetables and toss together to combine. Drizzle half of the dressing and toss again. Save the remaining walnuts, cranberries and dressing to drizzle on top of the salad before serving. Finish with finely chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!

About Maggie

Maggie Wysocki

I’m Maggie — Canadian gardener from the Prairies (Zone 3b), passionate plant mama, backyard chicken-keeper, co-host of The Grow Guide podcast and founder of From Soil to Soul

Growing my own food became a key part of my life in 2016. That year, my now husband surprised me with a greenhouse for my birthday. I knew very little about gardening and naively jumped in head first. Right away, I fell completely in love. But I quickly came to realize, there was little to no info online for Canadian gardeners living in colder climates. And most of what I did find was stale, outdated or just didn’t reflect the excitement I felt about gardening. I also found it hard to find organic, eco-friendly products I could feel good about using to grow my own food.

I started From Soil to Soul shortly afterward as a way to share my experience learning how to garden. Specifically, learning how to garden in an extreme climate with winter lows of -25°C and summers highs reaching +30°C. Since then, we’ve expanded our garden, added raised beds, created a three-bay composting system and built a new greenhouse…with at least a dozen other projects in there I’m sure I’m missing! 

You can learn more about Maggie and From Soil to Soul on her site, here

And you don't want to miss Maggie's beautiful socials, here (IG) and here (FB)!

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