Reviews/ vegan recipes/ vegetarian recipes

Sweet Tomatoes Review + Crunchy Island Pineapple Tossed Salad Recipe

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I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12. I don’t like to make a big deal about it–after 18 years, it’s really second-nature to me. I don’t go to restaurants and wish I could order a burger or steak and I don’t miss eating meat. That said, I do wish that restaurants would offer more options for those of us who don’t eat meat. While I’m perfectly happy with a grilled portabella mushroom sandwich or a veggie burger, it would be wonderful if restaurants would start offerings some things that are new and different. One restaurant that does a really great job of this is Sweet Tomatoes.

If you haven’t had the chance to go to Sweet Tomatoes, it’s a buffet that’s a little more fresh and healthy than your average biscuits-and-carvery-and-brown-lettuce type place. When Sweet Tomatoes first opened up near the town where I grew up, I was so thrilled to find so many tasty vegetarian dishes–and unlike other buffets, they’re all marked as such so there’s no guessing involved. My husband and I moved to a state where, sadly, there were no Sweet Tomatoes so we had to go without for quite some time. But now we live in an area with not one, but two Sweet Tomatoes. Happy dance!

Sweet Tomatoes gave me two meal passes so I could check out their restaurant in Raleigh. I was happy to see that my old favorites were still on the menu–oh, Sweet Tomatoes brownies, you are so warm and yummy. One thing I love about Sweet Tomatoes is that they switch up the menu in order to offer foods and flavors that are in season. Two standouts during our visit were the Mango Tropics Muffin (you really can’t go wrong with mango and coconut together, can you?) and Creamy Cilantro Lime Pesto Pasta. The Summer Tropics menu also featured a Hawaiian-inspired Crunchy Island Pineapple Tossed Salad–and guess what? Sweet Tomatoes was awesome enough to share the recipe with me!

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Crunchy Island Pineapple Tossed Salad

Pineapple Vinaigrette
(Yields 4 cups)

9 oz. pineapple juice concentrate
9 oz. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 oz. minced shallots
14 oz. canola oil

Blend first five ingredients. Slowly add oil and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Salad

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
1 cup wonton strips
1 cup pineapple tidbits
1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup julienne sliced red bell peppers
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup Pineapple Vinaigrette

Combine ingredients and toss.

Connect with Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation on Facebook and Twitter or find a restaurant near you using their online location guide.

Disclosure: I received two meal passes from Sweet Tomatoes to facilitate this review, but all opinions are my own–I only review products on my blog that I truly love and recommend to my readers. No monetary compensation has been received.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Type B Mom Stays at Home
    August 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    heavy sigh. . . we have been without a sweet tomatoes where we live for 6 years, now. . . . hoping hoping we move somewhere next where there will be one! I miss it so!

  • Reply
    Erika
    August 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    That looks & sounds delicious! I am going to bookmark & use this recipe later. Thanks!
    Also thanks for linking up at my Not Going to BlogHer Linky! Have a great night! 🙂

  • Reply
    BEadECLECTIC
    August 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I think I went to a Sweet Tomatoes a few years ago (almost positive). This recipe looks grand! I'd probably try to substitute either olive oil or sunflower oil though.

  • Reply
    Momioso
    August 5, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    We're long time vegs too and we do like Sweet Tomatoes – however, I do get frustrated when all of their main mixed salads are meat and/or when there is only one veg soup out of 6. I've been meaning to write them about that 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!~

  • Reply
    Heidi
    September 2, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Thanks for posting this recipe – I have also been a vegetarian for many years and I tried this salad at the restaurant and would love to make it again. I love that Sweet Tomatoes labels their foods so there’s no guessing or having to ask to find out if something is vegetarian or not.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      September 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      I know–I wish every restaurant did that!

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