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Haystacks-- A Simple, FIlling, Delicious Vegan Salad

This is an Indian styled Haystack Salad courtesy Wikipedia

When I became a Seventh-day Adventist I was introduced to "keeping the Sabbath", the wonderful Biblical perspectives around Heaven, the beautiful teachings of Jesus, and a fast, delicious salad called "Haystacks".  It's a sort of vegetarian taco or Mexican salad, so you know it's comfort food.  And it can certainly be quickly made to be a gluten-free meal.

The invention of haystacks is often credited to Ella May Hartlein, in the 1950s. Hartlein, a Seventh-day Adventist, apparently was unable to find, in their new Iowa home town, the freshly-made Mexican tostatos her family craved.  So  she collected together some of the individual ingredients and the family members choice their preferred items for their salad pile (or haystack).  

The haystack is a popular potluck item at various church events.  It has evolved to become representative of other ethnic flavors as well (ex.  the Hawaiian or Indian haystacks) and as a popular website sending up institutional and cultural Adventist traditions (see: The Haystack).

Here is our latest haystack innovation using a base of Red Lentil Waffles (easy waffle recipe following image below):


1. Soak 2 cups of red lentils in 2 cups of water (1/2 hour to overnight).

2. Chop a small red onion and add half to
high speed blender along with lentils and soak water. Add in salt and other preferred seasonings (to taste) and blend until smooth and slightly soupy.

3. Preheat waffle iron and follow directions for making waffles.  

4. Remove waffles to plates (3-4) and stack with salad articles-- suggestions listed below.

From Chris Wark of #ChrisBeatCancer, his latest best selling book: 

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Deliciously Simple

Plant-based Anti-Cancer Recipes

There are lots of ways to put the haystacks together, but my personal favourite combination goes something like this:

  • Place a handful or two of fresh organic corn chips (fresh as in out of an unopened bag) on your plate.  Some like to crush them first... I like to use mine as scoops, so I keep them complete. (Alternately, as in photo, use rice, quinoa, or red lentil waffle)
  • Pile on a chosen quanitity of grated cheese (dairy or soy)
  • Cover cheese with piping hot (oven-baked) beans or lentils 
  • Add other layers consisting of lettuce, sliced black olives, snips of green onion, sweet pepper strips, sprouts, diced tomato, finely-chopped celery, chopped cucumber, corn niblets, etc.
  • Top with a couple of scoops of sour cream, salsa (your hotness), and maybe a cherry tomato on top...
  • It strikes me (although I've never seen it done) that fine-chopped fresh cabbage would be a more authentic choice than lettuce
Many Adventist Churches have weekly potlucks in the Church or Church Hall.  People generally bring plant-based 'toppings' of choice and everyone makes their own haystack as they go through the line-up.  It's a quick, easy, delicious, fun meal!

Looking for a great vegetarian dish to serve your family or take to a potluck? 

  Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.


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