Vegetarian Salads: Super Tasty Super Foods
Vegetarian salads are now a lifeblood of my...um, well, life. When I first went veg, ironically, I didn't eat them that often. I think I was filling up on denser cooked dishes but now it's the raw, fresh, whole, untouched, still crunchy veggies that I crave.
I truly hope salads are finally starting to catch on as more peeps get serious about their insides. For a while there, salads had a bad reputation as the thing those kinds of girls ordered on dates or what you resorted to when dieting, as if they're some kind of punishment.
Well I'll be darned! Salads are freaking delicious. They change with the seasons. They change with your mood. There are practically a zillion ways to make them.
And yes, they can be filling. So I know you know how to throw some greens on a plate and splash some dressin' on there but if you're like me, then a salad rut is totally possible. The 6 salads on this page might give you a jumping off point. So let's jump, shall we? Into a big ole vegetarian salad bowl. (My appologies for allowing corniness to get the best of me.)
1 - End of Summer Salad (the one in the mug shot above)
- Sunflower Sprouts
- Cactus fruit
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Herb de Provence (or something similar)
- 2 T Tahini
- 1 T Grainy mustard
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- Salt & pepper
- ⅓ cup Olive oil
- Wash spinach and sunflower sprouts. Toss in dressing. (To make dressing, whisk all ingredients together.) Spread out onto plate.
- In a small pan, dry roast the pumpkin seeds by putting over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until they start to smell toasty. Shake them in the pan every minute or so. Sprinkle Herb de Provence on top.
- Cut ends off of cactus fruit, slice in half lengthwise and scoop the hard seeds out. Then cut into little strips. Slice avocado. Lay both on top of your bed of greens.
- Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds over salad and top with peperoncini. Voila!
2 - Summertime Vegetable Salad
- Grape tomatoes, cut in half
- Fresh basil
- Black olives, take pits out
- Feta cheese
- Cucumber, sliced
- Green beans
- Romaine lettuce
- Pairs with Citrus Vinaigrette dressing found on my salad dressing recipes page
- Trim and steam green beans (7 minutes) then run under cold water, pat dry
- In large bowl mix greens with basil and toss with vinaigrette
- Top with tomatoes, olives, cucumber, walnuts and feta
3 - Vegetarian Taco Salad
- Beans of your choosing (black or pinto work well)
- 2 colors of bell peppers
- 1 white onion sliced
- Olive oil
- Shredded cheese
- Spices: 2 cloves garlic, ½ tablespoon cumin, salt and pepper, (optional: cayenne)
- Red leaf lettuce
- Pairs with Cumin Lime dressing found on my salad dressing recipes page
- In hot skillet add olive oil then saute onion, peppers and beans with spices, let cool to room temperature
- In large mixing bowl, toss your greens with the cumin lime dressing, or that of your choice
- Layer salad any way you want, like making a burrito. Add the onions, beans and peppers, top with cheese, salsa, avocado and anything else you want
4 - Asian Fusion Salad
- 1 shallot, chopped
- Sesame ginger sticks (found near nuts and bulk goods in grocery store)
- Radishes, sliced thinly
- Bamboo shoots
- Bean sprouts
- Pairs with Soy Ginger dressing found on my salad dressing recipes page
- Toss greens with dressing then assemble the rest by layering ingredients
5 - Roasted Corn & Red Pepper Vegetarian Salad
- Corn kernels (at least 2 ears worth)
- 1 red pepper, juilienned
- Olive oil
- Spices: 1½ teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper
- Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), roasted
- Avocado, sliced
- Arugula or spinach
- Pairs with Cream Mustard Vinaigrette found on my salad dressing recipes page
- Preheat oven to 500° then in bowl toss red pepper and corn with enough olive oil to coat, paprika, salt and pepper
- Spread out on cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes (check on it regularly because the corn kernels can burn easily)
- In large bowl toss arugula with dressing
- Top with roasted vegetables, avocado and pepitas
6 - Everyday Vegetarian Salad
- Dried fruit like cranberries or apricots
- Nut or seed like sliced almonds or sunflower seeds
- Small tomatoes like cherry or grape, cut in half
- Green onions, finely chopped
- Carrots, julienned or thin peels
- Parmesan cheese
- Leafy greens
- Pairs with Basic Vinaigrette found on my salad dressing recipes page
- Toss all the ingredients (except cheese) with salad dressing, top with parmesan and serve
Tips to Make Salads Something You Love to Eat
- Get a salad spinner and wash your greens on the weekend. That way you can reach in the fridge and have instant fresh greens whenever you want to make a salad during the week.
- Adding nuts or seeds on top of your salad is a super easy way to get extra omega 3s and add some extra texture from the soft leafies.
- In the summertime your range of salad toppings grows exponentially. Peach and avocado salad, strawberry and portobello mushroom - mix and match all the varieties of fresh produce and you’ll never get tired of eating the same old thing.
- Salads aren’t just limited to being a summer classic though. Winter brings about its own bounty of salad staples. Try a mixture of cabbage and Swiss chard for some seasonal greens.
- Most of all just mix in all the toppings you love, whatever helps you eat those greens will help you be healthier. Leafy greens are probably the number 1 thing most people should eat more of. They're the most super of super foods. Enjoy!